QLD Signing of Rental Lease Agreement?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

AFC

Member
30 September 2017
3
0
1
Hi,

Long story short, I will explain in details if required. However, just a question if this lease agreement (contract) is valid.

If the renew lease agreement is offered and signed (witnessed) by the lessor on 1/1/2017, and the tenants signed (witnessed) 29/1/2017 which is 28 days after, am I correct to think tenants to sign and dated first or it can be vice versa?

According to RTA on the General Agreement section, under "Signing the agreement", it is quoted below:

Signing the agreement

The tenant must sign the agreement and return it to the property manager/owner within 5 days.

The tenant should be sent a copy within 14 days of the property manager/owner receiving the original.

The tenant must also be given a copy of the Pocket guide for tenants – houses and units (Form 17a).

The lessor has failed to do all the above eventhough the tenant has returned the signed agreement. If it is a binding contract, should this be valid?

Thanks in advance
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
2,452
513
2,894
Gold Coast, Queensland
lawtap.com
The lessor is obligated at law to provide the tenant with a copy of the agreement which is signed by both parties, and the required information statement (form 17a). The lessor is liable to be fined if they haven't done so.

It doesn't affect the validity of the lease itself. However, if you have any concerns you should bring the breaches to the attention of the Residential Tenancies Authority. If the tenant hasn't suffered any loss, and there are no other breaches involved, they may not decide to do anything about it however.
 

AFC

Member
30 September 2017
3
0
1
Thank you for the information and appreciated your reply. The agreement was a renewal so am I correct to think the form 17a may not be applicable? However, my concern is the date of it was signed and was not returned within 5 days therefore theorically the agreement has expired?

The lessor and tenant are in the wrong but the tenant cannot create the agreement. It is the lessor/agent's duty to provide the new agreement. I think this is a grey area unless it is written differently in the Act the agreement could not be valid since day one. Then again, I am not sure the validity difference between a contract or a binding document.

At the end I am still confident the tribunal will still be in favour of the landlord to be compensated for mitigation loss.
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
2,452
513
2,894
Gold Coast, Queensland
lawtap.com
Okay, you've mixed some legal jargon and concepts in there in a way that doesn't make a lot of sense.

I don't see anything in the legislation that the Form 17a is not applicable on a new agreement, but it also doesn't say that the Form 17a must be given more than once. Provided the form hasn't changed, the original copy given may suffice.

The agreement does not 'expire' or 'go stale' simply because it is not signed in the time frames required. And a new agreement does not need to be provided in such a case.

As for the tenant signing, although the Act does say that the tenant must sign the document and return it to the lessor/agent within 5 days of receiving it, there is no penalty for failing to do so. I doubt any court would rule a tenancy agreement to not be a binding contract because the tenant did not sign and return within the 5 days. It doesn't invalidate the agreement if the lessor doesn't sign and provide a copy within the 14 days (instead, the breach attracts a fine).

I think you're taking the required signing time frames too far, and inferring that a failure to abide by them invalidates the lease.

In respect of 'mitigation loss' (and it appears you've used that term incorrectly) what damage are you thinking the lessor has suffered?

As an aside: The lessor may think, incorrectly, that because it signed first it has already given a copy of the tenant. However, the Act specifically states that the lessor must give a "copy signed by both parties".
 

AFC

Member
30 September 2017
3
0
1
Thank you for your advice, you have clearly explained everything I needed to know.