Prepared by the Residential
Tenancies Authority (RTA)
When faced with the prospect of a natural disaster, it's
important for landlord and tenants to keep in contact. Taking time
to communicate and prepare before a major event minimises the
chance of tenancy disputes later on.
Tenants and landlords should talk to each other about the rental
property and decide what preparations will be done and who will do
Keeping on top of general property maintenance will make it easier
to prepare for a natural disaster.
It is the landlord's responsibility to make sure a
rental property is maintained and kept in good working order. The
landlord is responsible for repairing or replacing fixtures which
have deteriorated due to fair wear and tear.
Doing regular inspections is an important part of managing a
tenancy and planning for storm season.
Before summer, landlord should:
• trim trees
• unblock drains
• clear gutters and downpipes
• fix any broken windows and replace missing
• on acreage properties ensure clear access to
the property, remove fallen trees etc.
The landlord is responsible for house/building insurance. If it is
a furnished property, the landlord is also responsible for contents
insurance, but not for insuring the tenant's personal
Tenants should be aware of general wear and tear to the
property, and should report any fixtures which need replacing or
repairing as soon as they notice the problem. If the tenant causes
any damage they are responsible for covering the cost of any
repairs, such clearing drains blocked as a result of putting
objects down them.
Before storm season, tenants should:
• clear the yard of any loose materials which may become
• secure outdoor furniture and any children's play
• report ceiling leaks or signs of roof damage
• report any windows and doors which don't close properly or are
Tenants are responsible for insuring their personal possessions.
Keep copies of any insurance policies in a safe place.
After a natural
Landlord and tenants should talk to each other as soon as
possible to discuss the state of the rental property, and determine
if any action needs to be taken. If repairs are required, it is
usually the landlords responsibility to organise and pay for
repairs. They should negotiate with the tenant to find a suitable
time for the repairs to be done.
If the property has been affected but it is agreed the tenant
can continue to live there, in some cases the tenant and landlord
may choose to negotiate a rent reduction. If the property is deemed
unliveable and the tenant has to live elsewhere for a short period
while the property is being fixed, the landlord and tenant can
negotiate amendments to their agreement regarding rent payments for
The landlord is not allowed to evict the tenant in favour of
another tenant who will pay higher rent. Heavy penalties apply. If
the property becomes unsafe to live in, either the tenant or the
landlord has to officially end the tenancy agreement by issuing the
If the landlord asks the tenant to leave but the tenant wants to
stay, the tenant can dispute the request to leave. But if the
property is deemed unliveable and the tenant refuses to leave the
landlord can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative
Tribunal (QCAT) for a termination order due to failure to
In all the above cases, if direct negotiations between the
tenant and landlord are not successful, the RTA offers a free
dispute resolution service. If cases still cannot be resolved,
matters can be decided by QCAT.