Common scenarios

Common scenarios

Unable to pay the entire rent amount

We recognise that some people may be unable to meet the full rent commitments under their lease due to job loss or reduced hours as a result of COVID-19.

If you are having trouble paying the full amount of your rent, you should contact your property owner or manager, as soon as possible, to negotiate an agreed amount or talk through other options.

Any agreement should be recorded in writing, including rent adjustments, that both you and your property owner have a copy of.  You can download an RTA COVID-19 tenancy variation form for general tenancies (18d and 18f) or rooming accommodation (18e) to help you document the new agreement properly.

If you are having difficulty negotiating with the property owner (for example, if they are refusing to discuss or cannot be contacted), you should contact the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) to arrange for a more formal negotiation through a conciliation process.

It’s important you continue to make rent payments while this process occurs, even if it is a reduced amount (whatever you can afford).

We can't agree to a new rent amount

The tenant and property owner need to work together to find acceptable solutions during the pandemic, which may include a rent adjustment.

If a tenant refuses to negotiate or pay any rent or the property owner refuses to negotiate, conciliation should be arranged through the RTA. This process will be compulsory. The conciliation process aims to help both parties to reach an outcome.

It’s important the tenant continues to make rent payments while this process occurs, even if it is a reduced amount (whatever they can afford).

If the property owner and tenant cannot reach an agreement, you will both be required to participate in conciliation through the RTA to help reach an outcome.

The RTA can help provide information and support:

Do I have to provide access to the property?

Tenants may not want property agents or the agent’s tradespersons entering the property during the health emergency.

A tenant can refuse entry to the property for non-essential reasons (including routine inspections), particularly if they or a member of their household has a higher risk profile if exposed to COVID-19. However, they must allow a virtual inspection to take place or to take part in a video conference, provide photos or videos to help monitor its condition or to allow viewings for sale or reletting.

Postponing or rescheduling inspections to a time where all parties are comfortable may be an option. If physical inspections are not agreed, inspections can take place virtually via video conferencing or detailed photos.

Property owners and managers can enter the property in emergencies to protect the property or inclusions from imminent or further damage or conduct essential repairs, for example smoke alarm inspections and servicing.

It is important that all parties communicate openly and respectfully and try to establish an agreed way to work during this difficult time. Any agreement should be recorded in writing, such as by email.

If you need repairs done to your property, you can have tradespersons enter your property if you are comfortable with this. The advice from Queensland Health is that workers are not counted as visitors to a household and as such won’t put you at risk of breaching any relevant Directions. Whilst working at the property, workers should follow social distancing rules and exercise appropriate hygiene practices. Refer to Queensland Health for information on the current public health directions.

Are the COVID-19 tenancy protections invalid?

The Queensland Government has acted swiftly to correct an administrative oversight with the tabling of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020.

While made by Governor in Council and notified as required, the Regulation was not tabled within 14 calendar days of being notified as required under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020.

This action ensures the Regulation is taken to be validly made, notified and tabled so that it continues to have effect and all actions taken in reliance on the Regulation are lawful.

This means that no agreements negotiated between tenants and property owners, either privately or through conciliation, will be impacted or affected by this issue.

If you need help with your tenancy, talk to the RTA:

Last updated:
30 June 2020