Updates

Date set for remaining Stage 1 Rental Reforms to commence

Queensland Government media release

Reforms to end no grounds evictions and make it easier for renters to have a pet will commence on 1 October 2022, following recent Governor in Council approval.

Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said this was the final step that gives life to the important Stage 1 Rental Law Reforms passed by the Parliament last year.

“By ending no grounds evictions, renters and property owners now have more certainty about how and when parties can end their tenancy arrangements.

“We have also made it easier for renters to have a pet by requiring owners to have a prescribed reason to refuse such a request,” Minister Enoch said.

After moving through the required parliamentary process, Governor in Council approved a Proclamation fixing 1 October 2022 as the date for the commencement of the remaining provisions of the Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021.

Minimum housing standards for Queensland rental properties will start applying to new leases from 1 September 2023 and to all rental properties from 1 September 2024.

“Everyone deserves to live in a safe and secure home,” Minister Enoch said

“The new minimum housing standards will help to ensure all Queensland rental properties meet basic safety, security, and functionality standards.

“The domestic and family violence reforms came into effect on 20 October 2021 because it was important to act quickly to ensure that safety was a priority and that people experiencing domestic and family violence had options,” Minister Enoch said.

“These reforms allow renters experiencing domestic and family violence to end their tenancy quickly with limited end of lease costs and change locks without the landlord’s permission.”

Minister Leeanne Enoch said the sector now has firm commencement dates for all Stage 1 Rental Law Reforms with sufficient time to understand, prepare and transition.

“I encourage renters and property owners or their agents to review their tenancy agreements to ensure they are ready for these reforms when they commence.

“These rental law reforms give Queenslanders certainty in what is a very tight rental market that has been heavily impacted by people from southern states moving to Queensland and people returning from overseas.

“About 34 percent of Queensland households rent and these reforms strike the right balance between the rights of property owners and renters,” Ms Enoch said.

QShelter Executive Director Fiona Caniglia welcomed the reforms.

“QShelter’s vision is that every Queenslander has a home,” she said.

“These rental reforms are an important part of making sure all Queenslanders can make the place they live into their home, whether they rent or not.

“Throughout the consultation process for the reforms, QShelter has advocated for changes to prevent no-cause eviction and to have pets allowed, which we know contributes significantly to quality of life and mental health.

“We are pleased they were part of the first stage of reforms, and we have the certainty of a date for these changes to come into effect.

“We look forward to public consultation for stage two of the reforms,” Ms Caniglia said.

The reforms came about following extensive consultation in 2018 and 2019 in which 135,000 responses were received through the Open Doors to Renting Reform consultation, and more than 15,000 responses to the Regulatory Impact Statement.

The Queensland Government is committed to continuing to improve renting in Queensland by progressing further reform in 2022.

“The Queensland Government will continue to consult with industry, peak and representative groups and other key stakeholders during the second stage,” Ms Enoch said.

Stage 1 Rental Law Reform Commencement Summary

From 20 October 2021 Renters experiencing domestic and family violence:

  • can leave immediately (after giving 7 days’ notice) and access any bond contribution they made
  • will have break lease fees capped at 1 week’s rent
  • are not liable for property damage caused by DFV
  • 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 owner’s consent, to ensure their safety
  • must provide documentation to support their notice and property owners, managers and their employees must not disclose this information (except where permitted).

 

From 1 October 2022 End without grounds evictions and provide additional grounds to end a tenancy, including the end of a fixed term agreement. A rental property owner will not be able to issue a notice to leave ‘without grounds’, which will provide renters with more certainty.

If a renter requests to keep a pet, a rental property owner must have reasonable grounds to refuse and respond in writing to this request within 14 days. Reasonable grounds include if the property is unsuitable, and if keeping the pet would breach laws or by-laws.

Rental property owners can also place reasonable conditions on pet ownership, including that the pet is to be kept outside or that carpets are cleaned, and the property is fumigated at the end of a lease. A rent increase or bond are not reasonable conditions. The laws also clarify that fair wear and tear does not include pet damage.

Establish minimum standards to require all Queensland rental properties meet standards for safety, security and functionality. This includes making sure accessible windows and doors have functioning latches, fixtures and fittings provided in the property are in good repair and do not present a safety risk with normal use, and properties are weatherproof and structurally sound.

From 1 September 2023 Rental properties must comply with minimum housing standards when a new lease is entered.
From 1 September 2024 All rental properties must comply with minimum housing standards

For more information on the rental reforms visit this Queensland Government website.