The rental landscape in Queensland is set to undergo significant changes in September 2023, with the introduction of new rental laws that will impact both tenants and landlords. These changes aim to strike a balance between the rights and responsibilities of both parties, ensuring fair and transparent rental agreements. In this article, we’ll explore the key amendments and what they mean for new tenancies in Queensland.
- Minimum Housing Standards
One of the most notable changes in the new Queensland rental laws is the establishment of minimum housing standards. These standards are designed to ensure that rental properties meet specific criteria for safety and liveability. Landlords will be required to maintain properties in good condition, ensuring they are fit for habitation.
Key provisions include adequate lighting, ventilation, and plumbing, as well as functioning locks and security measures. Tenants will now have the right to request repairs for issues that affect their safety or health. This change will significantly enhance the quality of rental housing across the state.
- Longer Fixed-Term Agreements
Under the new laws, landlords will be required to offer longer fixed-term agreements. Previously, many landlords opted for short-term agreements, creating uncertainty for tenants. Now, landlords will need to offer fixed-term agreements of at least 12months, providing tenants with greater stability in their housing agreements.
- Rent Increases Limited
To prevent excessive rent hikes, the new legislation will limit the frequency and amount of rent increases. Rent can only be increased once every 12 months, providing tenants with predictability in their housing costs. Additionally, the rent increase cannot exceed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) percentage, ensuring that rent increases are fair and reasonable.
- New Rules on Pets
Another significant change pertains to tenants’ rights to keep pets. While landlords can still impose certain restrictions, they will not be able to unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request to have a pet. This change recognises the importance of pets in people’s lives and gives tenants more flexibility in choosing suitable rental properties.
- Fairer Break Lease Fees
The new rental laws also address break lease fees. These fees, which tenants pay when ending a lease early, will be capped at one week’s rent. This change protects tenants from exorbitant fees and encourages landlords to re-lease the property promptly.
- Improved Dispute Resolution
To resolve disputes between tenants and landlords more efficiently, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) will be given greater authority. This includes the power to award compensation for disputes and breaches of the new laws. Improved dispute resolution mechanisms will help ensure a fair and timely resolution of rental disputes.
The changes to Queensland’s rental laws represent a significant step toward creating a fairer and more transparent rental market. These reforms prioritise the rights and well-being of both tenants and landlords, aiming to strike a balance between their interests. As a tenant or landlord in Queensland it is essential to familiarise yourself with these new laws to ensure compliance and a positive rental experience.
For more information check out the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website: