Frequently Asked Questions
No doubt you will have some questions when buying, selling or leasing your home. Even if you are a tenant, you’re sure to have some questions about your rights and responsibilities. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please contact us. Our friendly staff will be happy to help.
Our Health & Safety Commitment - COVID-19 Update
With everything that’s going on at the moment with the pandemic – we thought it was important to give you some information - Re: [COVID-19 Update] Our Health & Safety Commitment.
Caring for our community is at the heart of our business.
And our purpose is to make buying, renting and selling easier for you, even in challenging times such as these.
As you are aware, we are in uncharted (and unprecedented) times due to COVID-19 so, first and foremost, we want to reassure you that we have a thorough business continuity plan.
We request that all clients evaluate their own health (and that of people they are in close contact with) and refrain from coming into our office if they begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms.
Further to this (as governed by medical authorities), you must not visit the office if any of the following apply:
1. You have been or transited through the following countries within the past 14 days: Mainland China; Iran; Republic of Korea; Italy; or
2. You have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID 19 or is displaying the symptoms of COVID-19.
3. You have travelled to another area and are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Please note that our team has also been told not to attend work if any of the above apply.
We encourage our team and clients to adhere to the following important safety measures that the World Health Organisation has recommended to limit the spread of COVID-19:
· Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
· Maintain at least 1 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
· Avoid physical contact when greeting (safe greetings include a wave, a nod or a bow).
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze (immediately dispose of the used tissue)
Here’s how we’ll be conducting business during the pandemic:
In the interests of workplace health and safety, we request all tenants to advise us immediately if they are unwell or have been placed in quarantine.
Where possible and when needed, we will be performing a facetime inspection with you in lieu of the routine to ensure we are still seeing the property and catching any urgent maintenance or damage.
Should we need to, we are prepared to suspend all routine inspections and perform facetime inspections for a period of time.
Health & Hygiene
Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures in our office
New contactless procedures in place at all Open Homes, Routine Inspections and Client Meetings
Enabling our team to work remotely where possible
All keys handed out and returned will be disinfected
Rental payments are still expected to be made on time and in full, and we will still be following the usual arrears processes. If you do find yourself having trouble paying rent though, there are government agencies and community groups that can help. We implore you to please contact us before you receive a breach, as soon as you are aware there may be an issue so we can get you the assistance you need.
At this stage, our team will continue to attend all meetings.
However, we understand that some of our clients may not feel comfortable meeting in person with an agent or property manager, therefore our team is able to conduct video calls if needed.
This is the time to take care of yourself, your family and neighbours.
We hope you understand our position during this time in the interests of health and safety for all.
Over the coming weeks, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and act quickly on the advice of health authorities.
We appreciate your patience and your support as valued clients.
Buyers & Sellers FAQ
Navigating the housing market can be tricky, so you need a real estate agent you can trust, who has your best interests at heart. We’re a small-ish agency that offers you the one-on-one attention you need to feel special. We’ll always be honest and genuine, making sure you get a realistic appraisal of what to expect based on the market. Our job is to make the process of selling or buying as stress-free as possible.
Opting to sell a home via private sale is a lot more complex than you may be led to believe. We are well versed in all the legal aspects of selling a home. Make a tiny mistake on your purchase agreement and it could cost your thousands of dollars.
Our agents all have excellent local knowledge and know the housing market inside out. Each one is trained in how to successfully negotiate to get the best price for your home.
First home buyers may be surprised at the additional costs you need to consider when purchasing a property. You will need to think about:
- The deposit which is usually between 10–25% of the cost of the property you are purchasing. Keep in mind if you borrow more than 80% of the property price, you will be subject to paying Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance (LMI) which can amount to a few thousand or more.
- Stamp duty which is calculated on the value of the property and whether you are buying it to live in or as an investment property. The amount is also based on whether it’s a new or existing home, or vacant land to build a property on. There are concessions for first home buyers in Queensland.
- Building insurance
- Lawyers/solicitors or property conveyancers. If you don’t have anyone who can take care of this for you, we can recommend a few contacts for independent legal advice
- Builder’s reports
- Pest inspections
- Body corporate fees (if applicable)
- Council rates
We recommend going to a few auctions to get a feel for them before you bid for a home you want to buy. At auction there is no-cooling off period, so if you have been the successful bidder, the house is yours even if you can’t afford it, change your mind or the house fails the builder’s inspection. By bidding, you must have the funds readily available. It can’t be conditional based on available finance or subject to the sale of your home.
Carry out a thorough inspection of the property, you may even want to organise a builder’s report if you’ve got your heart set on buying it. Ensure you have pre-approved finance and look over the contract. You may want to get your solicitor to go through the terms and conditions of sale.
It’s maybe difficult to keep your composure when you’re bidding on a property you’ve fallen in love with. Remember that this is not the only house on the market, nor will it be, so be sure to set a limit. You don’t want to leave yourself in a financial pickle.
How do I know if I am eligible for the First Home Owners Grant?
Check your eligibility for the Queensland First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) at www.qld.gov.au
A property manager takes care of your investment property and acts a go-between between the landlord and the tenants. It also means you don’t have to worry about chasing up late rental inspections or getting phone calls in the middle of the night during emergencies. The Real Estate People – Toowoomba cares for your property as if it is our own. Whether you’re looking for full-time property management or temporary care while you’re overseas, talk to us today.
Routine inspections are carried out on a regular basis, every 3 months to check your tenants are taking care of the properties as per their lease agreement. We also check for wear and tear, as well as visual checks on the property structure. We also do some additional processes that other agency’s don’t – call us to discuss what we do differently.
We can ensure any bills such as water, rates, body corporate fees, insurance or mortgage payments come from incoming rent received on your behalf.
Our marketing strategies target a large audience. Interested tenants are asked to complete a detailed rental application which includes personal references, rental history, current employment status. We will also carry out a complete background check for credit history.
Landlords are able to pass on the cost of water usage (including bulk water charges) to the tenants providing the following conditions are met.
1) The rental property is individually metered or water is purchased and delivered
2) The rental property is water efficient
3) The lease agreement specially says the tenant is responsible for water rates
Tenants cannot be billed for sewerage usage or fixed access charges.
Showerheads and cold water taps must have a maximum flow rate of 9L per minute. A dual flush toilet must not exceed 6.5L on a full flush. The tap efficiency requirement does not apply to the bath, washing machine, dishwashers or outdoor taps
If something is broken or needs replacing, tenants are required to report it immediately. Before we organise repairs or maintenance, we will discuss the matter with you before proceeding unless you’ve given us permission to undertake repairs as we see fit.
In the event of an emergency, if you are not able to be contacted, we will use common sense. On completion of the work, we will send you a copy of any invoices and deduct the funds from your allocated account.
The RTA is the Residential Tenancies Authority which is an independent and impartial government organisation that provides help and advice on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
- Provides information about your legal rights & responsibilities
- Manages bond deposits & refunds
- Impartial dispute resolution
- Investigations into complaints
If you sign a lease agreement, it means you must:
- Pay rent by the due date and by the agreed method
- Adhere to the terms of your lease agreement & body corporate laws
- Inform us if you damage the property, accidentally or otherwise
- Use the property as your home & refrain from using it for illegal purposes
- Respect the privacy of your neighbours
- Be responsible for the actions of your guests
- Ensure any inclusions (air conditioning, appliances, swimming pools) are kept clean.
- Keep the property and yard clean and tidy, unless arrangements for yard maintenance is included as part of your rent
You will need to notify our real estate agency if there are any changes to the number of occupants in a home. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a co-tenant, subletting or boarding, bonds must be lodged with the RTA. We do not allow subletting unless previously agreed.
This is a lease where you sign up to rent the premises for a fixed amount of time. For example; your landlord may prefer to keep you on a 6-month lease when you first sign up. Once you’ve proven yourself as a valuable tenant, they may be inclined to offer you a longer lease.
There is no fixed end date. If you wish to move out there is a set amount of notice you will be required to give.
The maximum bond you can be charged equates to 4 weeks rent, but only if the rent is $700 or less a week. It doesn’t matter whether it’s called a pet bond or a key bond, you can’t be charged more than 4 weeks rent. If your weekly rent exceeds $700, the amount of bond can be negotiated.
It’s common practice for most landlords or property managers to allow you to transfer the bond, but they don’t have to. This will need to be an agreement between the tenants and our real estate.
If you are unable to pay bond upfront, you may be eligible for a bond loan from the Department of Housing and Public Works.
This is a checklist that allows you to inspect the property for damage when you move in. We recommend you complete this the day you move in, but legally you have 3 days to return it to us.
The landlord is responsible for property insurance on the building but this does not cover your belongings. You will need to take our content insurance.
Rent can only be increased more than once every six months and notice must be given.
You will be issued with an entry notice at an agreed time. For more information about entry and privacy, go to www.rta.qld.gov.au.
You will need written permission to add any fixtures such as picture hooks.
Routine repairs are repairs that don’t pose a life and death situation or damage to the property. The types of situations that are considered emergencies are:
- Burst water pipes & water leaks or roof leaks
- Blocked or broken toilets
- Gas leak
- Hazardous electrical fault
- Flooding or flood damage
- Severe storm, fire or impact damage
- Disruption to gas, electricity or hot water supply to the premises
You and the landlord/property manager share the responsibility. For more information about your obligations for installation and maintenance visit www.fire.gov.au
You need to fill out a Notice of Intention to Leave form. There may be costs involved such as paying the rent until a new tenant is found and the cost of advertising for new tenants.
You are expected to leave the property in the same condition. Fair wear and tear is expected. To avoid missing out on getting your bond money back, we recommend using a cleaning company that specialises in end-of-lease cleaning.