Amongst the hustle, bustle and excitement of moving into a rental, it’s easy to forget the important things you should be asking the real estate agent before signing a lease. “You don’t know unless you ask” is something you should live by when finding a place to rent.

Before you sign your life away on the lease agreement, it’s probably worth asking the below questions:-

Is there anything I’m entitled to know about the property before I sign the lease?

There are actually a number of things that real estate agents are required to tell you about your rental. If in the last five years the property was affected by bush fires, floods or a serious crime, you should know about it. It’s always worth asking if there’s anything you should know about the property, just in case they forget to disclose anything.

Who do I contact or what do I do when something needs fixing?

It’s important to establish who you should contact when something is broken or needs repairing. Ultimately, the real estate agent will be your point of contact always, who then pass it on to the property owner/manager. It’s always recommended that you reach out to them in writing (email or text) to ensure you have copies of the correspondence. If they don’t get back to you, you are able to organise the repairs yourself and the land lord is obliged to reimburse you.

How to I ensure I get my bond back at the end of the lease?

This question generally always has a straightforward answer, however, it never hurts to ask. The importance of keeping a log of any accidental damage will be beneficial at the end of your lease as you can prove that you had informed the real estate and asked for assistance. Pretty much, be respectful to the property (and clean up after those *covid safe* house parties)!

How often will there be rental inspections, and do you give me notice?

This is always a good question to ask – I’ve had very different experiences with each real estate I’ve been with. Within a twelve-month period, they can inspect the property up to four times, so finding out roughly when those inspections might take place will be useful to have in mind.

Will the rent remain the same price?

When signing the tenancy agreement, ensure you read the fine print about the rental price and the possibility of the rent increasing. According to the RTA however, the property owner/manager can’t simply implement an increase in rent because it’s stated in the agreement – they have to give you notice in writing before it takes effect. You can find out more here about rent and tenancy agreements https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/renting/during-a-tenancy/rent-and-other-bills/rent-increases but it’s always a good idea to ask your real estate agent as well!