What do the new Queensland renting laws mean for you?
New tenancy laws finally passed in Queensland parliament, concluding stage one. In brief, here is what you can expect:
Ending Tenancies Fairly - from 1 October 2022
Changes under the ending tenancies fairly reforms include:
removal of ‘without grounds’ as a reason to end a tenancy
new grounds for property owners to end tenancies, including the end of a fixed-term agreement, need to undertake significant repair or renovation, change of use or sale or preparation for sale of the rental property requires vacant possession
- new grounds for renters to end tenancies, including the property is not in good repair, or does not comply with the Minimum Housing Standards.
Renters can continue to end an agreement ‘without grounds’ and both renters and property owners must provide appropriate notice for the ground (reason) they are using to end the agreement.
Property owners can seek an order from the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to terminate the tenancy for significant or serious breach of the lease by a tenant.
Renters can apply to QCAT for an order to set a notice to leave aside if they believe it has been issued in retaliation for them enforcing their rights.
Renting with pets - from 1 October 2022
Changes making it easier for renters to have a pet include:
a renter can seek the property owner’s permission to keep a pet, and property owners can only refuse a request on identified reasonable grounds, such as keeping the pet would breach laws or by-laws
the property owner must respond to a request for a pet in writing within 14 days, or consent is implied
- the property owner’s consent may be subject to reasonable conditions such as the pet has to be kept outside. A rent increase is not a reasonable condition.
Minimum Housing Standards - from 1 October 2022
Strengthened repair and maintenance obligations will commence from 1 October 2022 to support the staggered introduction of Minimum Housing Standards from 1 September 2023.
Tenants (residential tenancies) will have 7 days to complete and return the entry condition report and tenants and property managers can authorise emergency repairs up to the equivalent of 4 weeks rent.
Minimum Housing Standards will apply to new leases entered into from 1 September 2023 and all tenancies from 1 September 2024.
Renters can have confidence their rental property is safe, secure and functional through prescribed Minimum Housing Standards which require:
- the premises to be weatherproof and structurally sound
- fixtures and fittings to be in good repair and not likely to cause injury to a person
- locks on windows and doors
- the premises to be free of vermin, damp and mould
- privacy coverings
- adequate plumbing and drainage
- functioning kitchen and laundry facilities (where supplied).
Domestic and Family Violence (DVF) protections - from 20 October 2021
The temporary regulatory measures that were introduced under the COVID-19 residential tenancies response for domestic and family violence have become permanent.
Renters experiencing DFV:
- can leave immediately (after giving 7 days notice) and access any bond contribution they made
- are not liable for property damage caused by DFV
- are not liable for costs relating to reletting the premises
- any remaining co-renters can be asked to top-up the bond by the property owner or manager
- can change the locks to the property without requiring the owner’s consent to ensure their safety
- must provide documentation to support their claim and property owners, managers and their employees must not disclose this information (except where permitted) and may be subject to penalties if they do so.