The Queensland government has introduced a Rental Reform Bill to Parliament, called the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021. This proposed legislation has been introduced by the Palaszczuk government and is not to be confused by the Greens private members bill introduced a few weeks ago.
Property owners will want to take note of four key reforms in the bill.
Domestic and family violence
Provisions that were introduced during COVID lockdowns will become enduring and permanent if and when this bill is passed in the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act. A general summary of those provisions is that a victim of family and domestic violence can leave or terminate a tenancy in a quick way to avoid the normal processes.
Minimum housing standards
All rental properties must meet certain safety and security standards. These include kitchen and laundry facilities must be fully functioning and requirements around privacy. For example, windows will need some sort of curtains or blinds and security screens on them. If the bill is passed, these standards will not commence until September 2023, giving property owners enough time to budget.
Under the proposed legislation, a tenant still needs to seek consent to have pets and an owner can still refuse that pet based on certain prescribed reasonable grounds. One of these includes the home not being appropriate for the pet in question for a variety of reasons. There are also provisions for an owner to deny a pet in situations where the damage that particular pet could do to the property is higher than the cost of the rental bond.
Ending a tenancy
This proposed bill has owners retain the right to end the tenancy agreement when the fixed term ends as originally agreed by the parties. However, tenants will be given greater certainty by being provided a list of additional grounds or reasons for how the owner can end a tenancy. One of those grounds will be that the fixed term is ending. Owners will still be able to give the two months notice ahead of that fixed term tenancy end date and will retain the right to say no to a renewal. Owners are also given a range of additional grounds for ending a tenancy under the bill.
For more property management tips and news, check out our videos www.rentalresults.com.au/videos