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Qld’s new rental laws are now in effect

Price hike restrictions, domestic violence provisions, and mandatory training for agents are just some of the changes that have now kicked in.

As of 6 June 2024, Queensland’s stage two rental reforms have now commenced.

Here are the major changes that Queensland landlords should be aware of:

Rental increases

  • Landlords and agents cannot accept a tenant’s offer to pay rent above the advertised price.
  • Rents can only be increased once every 12 months. This period attaches to the property, not the tenancy, so the limit applies regardless of whether there is a change of tenant or lessor.
  • These laws apply to all future rent increases going forward, regardless of whether the last increase took place prior to the laws coming into effect.
  • The tenancy agreement must state the last date rent was increased.
  • If the landlord believes they will face undue financial hardship because they can’t increase rent within 12 months, they can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order.

Paying rent in advance

  • When a tenancy is advertised, landlords are not allowed to accept an offer to pay rent in advance if the amount is more than two weeks for a periodic tenancy, or one month for a general tenancy.
  • However, landlords can accept rent in advance greater than this limit during the tenancy if freely offered by the tenant. They may not solicit or invite rent in advance.

Confidentiality and access

  • Confidentiality requirements under the domestic and family violence provisions will be expanded.
  • Providers will be allowed to enter a property to instal or repair a smoke alarm with just 24 hours’ notice.

Training

  • A continuing professional development (CPD) regime will be introduced for all Queensland real estate agents and property managers.
  • Agents will be required to complete CPD each year and provide a statement to the Office of Fair Trading confirming which CPD requirements they have undertaken.

The second part of the legislative changes will commence at a later date. These future changes will include limits on the information that can be requested during a tenancy application, fee-free rent payment options, extended entry notice periods, and a four-week limit for notifying tenants of bill charges.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has had a mixed response to the legislative changes, praising some last-minute adjustments that were made to the reforms but criticising changes that the REIQ believes may “create a significant administrative burden” on property managers.

In the REIQ’s pre-budget recommendations, institute CEO Antonia Mercorella also questioned “whether [the reforms] deliver on their intention to benefit tenants”.

On the other hand, Tenants Queensland stated it “welcomes the Miles government’s package of reforms,” stating the changes will “very much improve the experiences of renters across the state”.

“The package is a good start, but more needs to be done to support struggling renters,” said Tenants Queensland CEO, Penny Carr.

Source: Orana Durney-Benson 10 June 2024 

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