Review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008
As you may remember we provided information via our blogs and newsletters regarding the pending reform and how that reform may look based on the submissions received by the Queensland Government, mainly by tenants with overall little submissions received by Property Owners/Landlords and Property Managers.
On Friday evening The Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni has announced Stage 1 of proposed rental reforms that would significantly damage Queensland’s rental market and create the most onerous rental laws in the country.
If enacted, the law change would erode fundamental landlord rights and deter property investment across the state.
The reforms’ ripple effect would see renters struggling to find suitable housing under already tight conditions.
In a further blow to renters, by de Brenni’s own admission the reform would likely increase weekly rent from an average of $360 per week to $378, which is a massive 5 per cent rise.
The most controversial and damaging reform is the proposed abolishment of a landlord’s right to not renew a tenancy agreement at the end of its agreed term.
In practice, this will allow a tenant to remain in a tenancy indefinitely and for as long as they want unless the landlord can establish a reason prescribed by law.
This reform has been cleverly disguised by the Palaszczuk Government as the abolishment of ‘without grounds terminations or evictions’ - that description is inaccurate and misleading.
Under current rental laws, landlords cannot end a fixed term tenancy agreement before it ends unless a breach has occurred.
Other proposed reforms include:
• the loss of a landlord’s right to refuse pets;
• the introduction of a tenant right to make modifications to a rental property without the landlord’s consent; and
• the introduction of minimum housing standards requiring the rental property and its inclusions to meet prescribed standards and to be in a certain state of repair.
Queensland has one of the highest proportions of renters in Australia with more than 34 per cent of Queensland households in the rental market.
The vast majority of rental housing is provided by everyday Queenslanders, and many of those are already making a loss on their investments.
Given the significance of these reforms, we are disappointed that the Minister is offering a mere six week consultation process after waiting a year to announce these reforms.
On its face, the Government may think it is protecting tenants but in reality, we are likely to see housing supply reduce.
There will be no winners.
As a community, it's time for us to unite and fight against these damaging and disingenuous reforms, which will negatively impact both landlords and renters.
The below information has been sourced from the document attached called Review overview. Stage 1 has been released as part of a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement.
The 5 key areas of reform are noted below and detailed in the Consultation Regulatory Impact statement. Stage 2 is expected to be released later in 2020. The legislative amendment bill is the next part of the process.
Sourced from Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement Stage 1 reforms – page 28 & Realestate Excellence
1. Managing tenancies
Amend the RTRA Act to remove the ability of a property owner to end a tenancy without ground
Amend the RTRA Act to specify additional grounds for an owner or a tenant to end a tenancy
2. Safety and security Housing quality and Minimum Housing Standards
Apply Minimum Housing Standards in regulation
Amend the RTRA Act to enhance tribunal repair orders
Amend the RTRA Act to increase the time for tenants to return a condition report
Amend the RTRA Act to require property owners to provide owner and nominated repairer contact details
Amend the RTRA Act to allow tenants and property managers to authorise emergency repairs to the value of four weeks’ rent
Amend the RTRA Act to prescribe maximum timeframes for Minimum Housing Standards repairs
3. Domestic and family violence protections
Amend the RTRA Act to allow people experiencing domestic and family violence to end a tenancy at short notice
Amend the RTRA Act to allow people experiencing domestic and family violence to more easily access rental bond funds
4. Minor modifications
Amend the RTRA Act to allow tenants to make minor modifications for disability, security and health and safety reasons without the property owner’s permission
Amend the RTRA Act to require property owners to respond to tenant request for other minor modifications within seven (7) days
5. Renting with pets
Encourage voluntary information disclosure by tenants and property owners relating to pets
Amend the RTRA Act to provide for pet bonds and special pest control conditions
Amend the RTRA Act to require property owners to provide reasonable grounds for refusing a pet
Amend the RTRA Act to allow property owners to obtain QCAT orders excluding pets from a property
We STRONGLY suggest all landlords have their say by completing a submission to the government via the filling link here
The following documents have been attached for your reference and review;
Q STATE PROPERTIES
Ph: 1300 Q STATE
Information Sourced from Queensland Government, Realestate Excellence and REIQ
This article is for general information purposes only and must not be taken as legal, financial or any other professional advice. We recommend obtaining advice specific to your situation before making decisions relating to your investment property and financial position.