This change will bring a lot more control and ease for tenants.
It's probably not something you think about regularly, but do you know where your rental agreement is, and what exactly is in it?
If the answer is no, or you don't really care to think about it, this new tech update from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland will completely transform the way you, your landlord and agencies work.
Fully digitised residential tenancy agreements are set to roll out in the sunshine state by the end of the year, with smart contracts the way of the future.
Why do we need this?
Smart contracts are being hailed by experts as giving greater transparency and ease to all parties involved. The system also has the potential to transform the way tenancy agreements are transacted across the nation.
REIQ General Manager Josh Callaghan says, "All parties will have visibility over the contract at any time from the palm of their hand. By executing as a smart contract, we’re also able to build out the functionality to handle payments of bond and rent, plus facilitate other activities related to the property such as routine inspections and maintenance.
How will this work?
Mr Callaghan said the new smart contracts would use blockchain technology to create a simple and secure transaction for each tenancy agreement - but what does this mean for stakeholders?
“Most people have heard about blockchain in the context of Bitcoin, which is somewhat unfortunate as the technology has applications for every sector. Smart contracts, in particular, are clearly the way of the future in a form of law that has relied on a hand-written signature for literally thousands of years,” he says.
“At its simplest, a smart contract is a digital contract that can live beyond its initial execution by facilitating transactions and giving all parties a central record of what has happened during the tenancy.”
Josh believes the innovation will make renting a property much easier and more transparent for tenants.
“This solution has been designed to reduce the manual handling of contracts from the property manager-side, while streamlining the process for tenants and giving both parties much better visibility over the agreement,” he explains.
Good news for investors
Landlords and investors will also benefit, as this accurate, consolidated data will be available to create a real-time view of the state's rental market.
“The instant a tenancy agreement is signed, we will know how much a property was rented for, how long the agreement is for, how long it was vacant and so on, which will give the REIQ unprecedented insights into rental market trends as it happens,” says Josh.
As investors currently have to rely on rental data that may not be accurate, Josh says, "This new level of market visibility will make Queensland one of the most attractive property investment destinations in the world.”