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RTRA Act Amendments – Prescribed Minimum Housing Standards

Due to the changes introduced into Parliament by the Queensland Government, landlords will be obliged to provide minimum standards in rental properties.

Apart from enhancing protection of people residing in retirement homes, it will also implement minimum standards for other concerns such as sanitation, privacy and security, protection from damp, provisions of water supply, insulation, laundry and cooking facilities, vermin and pest management, energy efficiency, and lighting and ventilation.

The Queensland rental property minimum housing standards were initially suggested in 2014 which promptly called for submissions. The proposal was reviewed in 2014, after which the Government was advised by the reviewing committee not to introduce the laws. It has just been decided by the Government to pass the bill by the end of 2017.

This is an excerpt of the Bill introduced into Parliament on 10th August 2017.

17A Prescribed minimum housing standards

  1. A prescribed minimum housing standard means a standard prescribed by a regulation.
  2. A regulation may prescribe minimum housing standards for—

         (a) residential premises let, or to be let, under a residential tenancy agreement; or

         (b) a rental premises; or

         (c) inclusions for premises; or

         (d) facilities in a moveable dwelling park (park facilities).

      3. A prescribed minimum housing standard may be for any matter relating to the premises, inclusions or park facilities, including, for example, the following—

         (a) sanitation, drainage, cleanliness and repair of the premises, inclusions or park facilities;

         (b) ventilation and insulation;

         (c) protection from damp and its effects;

         (d) construction, condition, structures, safety and situation of the premises, inclusions or park facilities;

         (e) the dimensions of rooms in the premises;

         (f) privacy and security;

         (g) provision of water supply, storage and sanitary facilities;

         (h) laundry and cooking facilities;

         (i) Lighting;

         (j) freedom from vermin infestation;

         (k) energy efficiency.

      4. If a regulation made under subsection (2) makes provision in relation to a matter and provision is also made in relation to that matter by, or under, any Act, the regulation—

         (a) if not inconsistent with the Act, must be observed in addition to that Act; and

         (b) if inconsistent with the Act, is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect and that Act prevails.

Example of inconsistency between a prescribed minimum housing standard and an Act—

A prescribed minimum housing standard, that purports to require a lessor to keep residential premises and inclusions clean after the start of a tenancy, is inconsistent with the obligations of a tenant under section 188(2).

      5. A regulation may also prescribe how compliance with minimum housing standards is to be monitored and enforced.

      6. In this section— premises means premises mentioned in subsection (2)(a) or (b).