Frequently Asked Questions
As a service based business, our current and potential clients and customers regularly have questions on the services we provide, what the process is for a particular situation and how we differ from other businesses. We hope this FAQ page will help to answer any questions you may have, but if it doesn’t please feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email through the Contact Us page.
How do I organise to inspect one of your properties?
Do you have inspections after work hours or on the weekend?
Can I apply for a property before I inspect it?
I’m moving to Toowoomba, do I have to inspect the property?
I’m listed on TICA, can I still rent through Blackbird and Finch?
What is the process for lease renewals?
- Tenant intentions (are you staying or going)
- Owner intentions (do you want the tenant to stay and rent increases)
- Lease renewal/Notice To Leave (paperwork sent to all parties to sign)
If there is a problem with your lease renewal, it will be held up at 1 of these steps. Generally speaking, we are waiting for the intentions from either party or clarification on dates, terms etc.
What is the maximum rent increase in QLD?
I was offered a new lease agreement but why was I given a Notice to Leave?
In the 3 step process, the first step is to ascertain if you are wanting to sign a lease, this isn’t offering a new lease.
The next step is to see if the owners are wanting to renew the lease to you.
Many things are considered when renewing the lease such as inspections, rent arrears and general communication and if owners are wanting to move into the property or sell it. The owner may at this point decide not to renew the lease to you.
Another reason you may be issued a Notice to Leave is because you have not signed a lease renewal 2 months before the lease end date.
Why am I asked about my lease renewal so early?
These timeframes can be frustrating for tenants and owners, but there is a reason for the early emails.
Legally, we are required to give tenants 2 months’ notice of any change to the tenancy agreement, lease renewal or a Notice to Leave, this includes rent increases as well. If leases are not ended within this timeframe then the lease automatically becomes a periodic lease (often called a month to month lease). The Owner will not allow leases to be periodic. This is why a new lease term or a Notice to Leave must be in place at the 2 month mark.
Can I go onto a periodic lease (month to month)?
Unfortunately no. Many owners’ insurance policies do not cover rent loss when there is no fixed term tenancy in place which excludes periodic leases.
The only time a periodic lease is generally offered is if the property is for sale or if the owners or one of their family members intend to move back into the property in the near future.
What if I just don’t know if I want to re-sign the lease renewal?
To give you a little more time to decide, we can issue a Notice to Leave, which is what we are required to do 2 months before a lease ends. Then we can discuss the option of resigning a lease in 1 months’ time. This is when we would generally start advertising a property to re-let it. At that point – 30 days before your lease ends, we need a firm yes or no. If you still don’t know then we won’t have an option but to start advertising the property. You will then have to move out on the lease end date.
Can I renew the lease for 3 months?
It depends, many owners have set timeframes that they prefer their leases to end. Some have all leases end in January so will only offer 12 month leases. Some owners prefer 6 month leases, very few will allow a 3 month lease, but we can ask.
Can I request a longer lease?
Absolutely! 2,3 and 5 year leases are uncommon but for long term tenants can provide some stability. This would need to be approved by the owners and generally there will be an increase in the rent every 12 months which would be written into the lease renewal.
Will my rent increase at a lease renewal?
It depends on many factors and each property will be different. Rent increases are common at the lease renewal point and you will be advised how much the rent increase will be before signing the lease. There are many factors to consider when setting the rent for a property, which can include: current market prices, insurance and rate increases and property availability.
Is the lease renewal negotiable?
Everything can be negotiable but please do not take offense when your offer is rejected. Lease renewals including the amount of rent and timeframes are well considered with comparative reports against other properties, reviews of your tenant history and current market conditions before a final decision is made. The lease offered generally considers all of these things.
Tenants have been known to ask for a reduced rent because “I’ve been a good tenant”. The owners response has been – “you are supposed to be a good tenant – you are only meeting your obligations”.
Why can’t I just give 2 weeks’ notice?
Will my Bond increase?
Yes if the rent increases the Bond must increase as well. You will be given 30 days to increase your Bond but this should be done before the new rental lease starts. You can increase your bond online at the RTA or by paying the top up amount direct to us. The bond needs to be the equivalent of 4 weeks rent.
Why do the smoke alarms have to be tested again?