Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021.jpg

Rental reforms in Queensland

State Parliament

Around a third of Queensland households rent, and many Queenslanders also invest in rental properties. With more Queenslanders renting, and renting for longer, rental law reform is needed to keep up with the changing needs of tenants, lessors and real estate businesses.

 

Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

Around a third of Queensland households rent, and many Queenslanders also invest in rental properties. With more Queenslanders renting, and renting for longer, rental law reform is needed to keep up with the changing needs of tenants, lessors and real estate businesses.

The 10-year Queensland Housing Strategy 2017-2027 includes a commitment to modernise Queensland’s housing legislation and improve the regulatory frameworks that apply to accommodation regulated by the Queensland government.

Additionally, we’ve now released the Queensland Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021-2025. The action plan is backed by an historic $2.9 billion investment. Through the action plan, we will drive closer integration between government and non-government services to deliver positive outcomes for Queenslanders, including a focus on preventing homelessness.

Importantly, the action plan also supports the progression and implementation of reforms to modernise Queensland’s housing legislation, protect tenant and lessor rights, and increase consumer confidence. Renting is an important housing option for the increasing number of Queenslanders who rely on the private rental market for safe, secure and affordable housing.

What is this Bill about

The rental law reforms provided for in this bill will adjust and create new rights, protections and responsibilities for parties to residential leases in Queensland. While addressing the challenges facing many tenants, and particularly the vulnerable people in our community, the Palaszczuk government also recognises how important it is to protect the investments of the many property owners who contribute much needed supply to the housing market, many of which are mum-and-dad investors.

The changes implemented through these reforms strike an appropriate balance between lessor and tenants’ rights and provide a strong framework for parties to negotiate and manage mutually beneficial tenancy relationships.


What will it do

  • Provide greater certainty to both parties about the duration of the lease – by preventing lessors from ending a tenancy without grounds and requires lessors to only terminate a lease using approved grounds (for example; : if they need to occupy the property, intend to sell or redevelop it, or on the expiry of a fixed-term agreement).

  • Provides that protections for renters against retaliatory actions for enforcing their rights will be retained and enhanced, including protection from retaliatory termination or rent increases

  • Provides for basic standards to ensure all residential rental properties in Queensland meet a minimum level of quality for renters to feel safe and secure Some of these minimum housing standards include: the requirement that a property be weatherproof and structurally sound; have fixtures and fittings that are in sound condition, good repair and do not present a health hazard with normal use; be free from vermin, damp and mould; have adequate plumbing and drainage and be connected to a supply of hot and cold water for drinking; and ensure the toilet is connected to a sewer, septic or other waste disposal system.

  • Allows tenants experiencing domestic and family violence to end their interest in a lease with seven days notice – meaning the tenant can leave the property immediately, and their liability for end-of-tenancy costs would be capped to the seven-day notice period.

  • Encourage more pet-friendly rental properties in Queensland by introducing a framework to support renters who want to keep their pet. The Bill allows tenants to keep a pet with the lessor’s written consent, which may be subject to reasonable conditions agreed with the tenant. Lessors will retain their right to decide if a pet can be kept at their rental property but can only refuse a renter’s request on prescribed reasonable grounds if they cannot be addressed through the application of reasonable conditions, which does not include a rent increase or additional pet bond.


How can people have their say

This bill has now been referred to the Community Support and Service Committee, which will embark on a public hearings schedule (yet to be announced). If you’d like me to tell you when submissions open on this please email or call my office. Alternatively you can of course advise me of your views which I can pass onto the Committee.