Renting out a property in Queensland? Here are our tips on how to find the right landlord insurance for you.
As a landlord, you have enough on your plate without having to also worry about insurance. But whether you're in Cairns, Longreach or the Gold Coast, landlord insurance can help protect you against damage, loss, injury, rental default and legal liability. What's involved and how do I find the right cover for my property? Here's our full guide to landlord insurance in Queensland.
Compare landlord insurance for Queensland (QLD)
What does landlord insurance cover me for?
Landlord insurance comes in three cover options.
- Home insurance. Home insurance, or building/building-only cover, offers cover for your home and other fixtures on your property against damage from fires, storms, theft and vandalism. Cover usually provides additional protection against loss of rent due to damage rendering the property uninhabitable or damage to shared areas such as pools and gardens.
- Contents insurance. Contents cover protects any of your household possessions and any other property you have on site against the same risks as home insurance. Additional options are usually available for communal items like pool equipment or outdoor furniture.
- Combined home and contents insurance. Offering total protection for your property and everything inside, this is the most comprehensive level of cover available to landlords and includes optional cover for both rental default and damage or loss caused by tenants or their guests.
Is landlord insurance compulsory in Queensland?
While it isn't compulsory to have landlord insurance in Queensland, legal responsibility in an event of loss, damage or injury would fall on your shoulders. What's more, while tenants must agree to the terms you set in the lease, you're responsible for setting the terms and collecting bond (typically four weeks rent) and rent for the property. Landlord insurance can protect you against such financial burdens and provide legal liability for such incidents.
What do I need to know as a landlord in QLD?
Landlord insurance works more or less the same no matter what state you are in. However, there are some differences between states around the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants and these could have an impact on insurance claims down the road. Here's what's different in Queensland:
- Bond and advance rent. You can legally collect four week's bond on places that rent for $700 per week or less. There are no bond limits for places you rent for more than that. The maximum advance rent you can charge for any rental is one month for fixed-term agreements and two weeks for periodic agreements.
- Rent increases. You can increase rent once every six months with a two-month notice. However, you can't increase the rent on a fixed-term agreement unless the contract states that it will be increased.
- Ending a tenancy. To end a fixed-term lease, you have to wait until the lease is up and give two month's notice. It's also a two-month notice to end a periodic lease. If the tenant breaches the contract, this notice period can be shorter depending on the severity of the breach.
- Pets. Landlords have the upper hand here, as tenants are required to get written approval in order to keep a pet in a rental property.
- Access for inspections. As a landlord, you're allowed one inspection every three months and you must give your tenant a notice period of at least seven days before each one.
How do I choose a landlord insurance policy?
While there are plenty of policies on offer, it's good to decide a few things before you begin shopping. First, what level of cover do you need? Do you want to only protect the building and its contents or do you want total protection? You also need to work out how much you can afford, as the higher your cover, the more your premiums will cost.
Where you live will also help determine the kind of cover you need. If you're in Brisbane, you'll want to ensure you have protection against floods. Are you in Townsville or further north? Protection against storms and animal damage might be the priority. Or if you're further inland, protection against fire will probably be on the top of your list. Be sure to discuss specific terms and conditions with your insurance provider to ensure it's right for you.
Who offers landlord insurance in QLD?
Australian home insurance providers usually aren't state-specific, which means Queensland homeowners can access cover from an extensive range of trusted insurance brands, including:
What are my responsibilities as a landlord?
As a landlord, it's your responsibility to provide an apartment, house or property for your tenant that is free of hazards and defects, is fit to live in and complies with all Queensland state and local building and health codes. You're responsible for securing a bond from your tenant and submitting it to the Residential Tenancies Authority. You're also responsible for:
- Maintaining structural components and a reasonably weather-protected unit
- Providing the necessary heat, electric and hot and cold water facilities
- Making any requested repairs promptly
- Inspecting the property each time it's leased to determine whether or not it meets safety and adequate living standards
- Giving notice before entering a rental unit, except in cases of emergency
- Abiding by all agreements made in the signed lease
- Providing 15 days' written notice of any changes to a month-to-month agreement
- Adhering to the legal eviction process if evicting a tenant
- Advising your tenant of their legal rights and responsibilities when taking out a lease
What are a landlord's rights in Queensland?
As a landlord, you have the right to evict a tenant, provided you've given adequate notice or have reason to believe that a tenant has broken the conditions of the lease. You also have the right to increase rent or length of the lease, as long as you've provided enough notice and offer the option to terminate the lease if the tenant doesn't agree with the new terms. If your tenant has left the premises, you can withhold the bond until you've completed any repairs or cleaning services that may be required, or recoup costs from the bond if the tenant doesn't comply.