Changes to Tenancy Laws in Queensland
After much deliberation, the Queensland Government has altered The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. There has been a steady rollout of these alterations since, some coming into effect on October 20, 2021; however, further changes will occur on October 1 2022.
These changes have been implemented to help safety, security, and certainty for all involved in the Queensland rental market and create more balance between renters and property owners. These changes aim to create greater transparency, confidence, domestic violence protection, and encourage more pet-friendly accommodation.
As these are significant, lessors, property managers, and tenants alike need to be across these changes and understand what is happening in the future to understand what actions to take concerning their internal processes. Therefore, Palm Property Management is sharing this information to help you prepare for these changes.
What you need to know
Here is a comprehensive breakdown of the law changes.
Fixed-term and periodic tendencies
If a lessor ends a periodic tenancy from October 1 2022, it can only comply with specific prescribed grounds under the RTRA Act (Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008).
New offenses and penalties may apply if a Form 12 Notice to Leave is issued on grounds and limitations are not complied with.
A tenant may end their tenancy within three months via an application to QCAT if false or misleading information is provided by the property manager or lessor on some matters.
There are more grounds within a tenant's right to issue a Notice of Intention to Leave. There are also more grounds for a lessor to create a QCAT application to end the tenancy.
Pet approvals and refusals
It is now banned to advertise a property "no pets allowed." change to: Pets are to be considered as part of all applications.
If a pet request is lodged, lessors must respond within 14 days, or their approval will be regarded.
A pet request can only be refused on prescribed grounds, and lessors must explain why with understandable reasons.
A lessor can enforce conditions when granting pet approval per specified requirements.
Spend Limits on Emergency Repairs
Tenants and property managers can now arrange emergency repairs for a property to an amount equal to a maximum of four weeks' rent (increased from two weeks' rent).
The tenant's emergency first point of call nominated repairers must be highlighted in Form 18a General Tenancy Agreement.
The tenant must contact their nominated emergency contact before contacting other repairers.
In terms of repair orders, there are further changes to this jurisdiction also.
A new type of QCAT order has been introduced – A Repair Order.
A tenant can apply if property or inclusions need routine or emergency repairs.
Any outstanding repair orders must be disclosed in form 18a
A property cannot be leased if there is an Outstanding Repair Order.
Updated procedure and requirements for changing locks
Further retaliation concerning repair matters
Further Domestic & Family Violence provisions
Updated provisions for the passing of a sole and co-tenant
Reporting on entry conditions.
What you need to do
As there are various changes in many different sectors, property managers, tenants and lessors all need to be across these and how they impact them. There are various online resources to dive deep into specific areas or more specified to tenants or managers. It is also important to realize there will be a staggered approach to the commencement of the new measures. This will provide more time for everyone to understand their rights and obligations and prepare accordingly. More changes are coming in September and October 2023 regarding Minimum Housing Standards detailing entering and terminating leases.
If you need to learn more about these changes, click here or do not hesitate to contact us for further information with more specific relation to your property.