If the recent flooding in north Queensland has you worried about your property rental, here’s a quick guide on how to resolve the most common issues.
According to the Residential Tenancies Authority, one of the most asked questions regarding natural disasters is what constitutes an unlivable property. It’s a case-to-case basis, but generally, a property is considered unfit to live in if it has been destroyed, or made completely or partially unfit to live in. This means the property has become unsafe for health and safety reasons.
If the property is partially damaged, tenant and property owner should consider the outcome they want. Consider the safety of the tenant and if they want to end the tenancy. If they prefer to stay, perhaps a rent reduction may be negotiated.
In any case, any agreements must be put into writing and signed by everyone involved.
A tenancy agreement does not end automatically in the event of a natural disaster, even if the property has been totally destroyed. Either tenant or property owner/manager can give either party notice to end the tenancy on the grounds of non-liability on the same day or a mutually agreed date, provided the notice is given within one month of the disaster occurring.
When it’s time to clean up the property, the property manager/owner is responsible for the building itself, including fences, garden and pool. Meanwhile, the tenant is responsible for the cleaning and removal of their possessions.
Remember, always keep the lines of communication open between tenant and property owner so you can work together to facilitate the resolution of issues.