Summary of the proposed reforms | Renting in Queensland

Consultation has concluded

The Queensland Government is proposing changes to Queensland's tenancy laws, to ensure the rental needs of Queenslanders are met now and in the future. We considered a range of options and examined the costs and benefits of each. A summary of the proposed reforms is provided below.

Consultation has closed.

The Queensland Government is proposing changes to Queensland's tenancy laws, to ensure the rental needs of Queenslanders are met now and in the future. We considered a range of options and examined the costs and benefits of each. A summary of the proposed reforms is provided below.

Consultation has closed.

Consultation has concluded
  • Managing Tenancies—ending tenancies fairly

    4 months ago

    Recommended option: Require property owners to only end tenancies for approved reasons and introduce additional approved reasons to end a tenancy

    The ability for property owners to end a tenancy without grounds would be removed. No further change is proposed to existing approved reasons to end a tenancy.

    Additional approved reasons to end a tenancy would be introduced, including:

    For property owners

    • The owner or their immediate family needs to move into the rental property
    • Significant renovations or repairs to the property are to be undertaken
    • The rental property has been sold and vacant possession is required
    • There has been a serious or significant breach of the tenancy agreement due to the actions of a tenant, occupant or guest
    • A person is occupying the rental property without consent (such as a squatter)

    For tenants

    • Rental property is not in good repair, is unfit for human habitation, or does not comply with minimum housing standards
    • Property owner has not complied with a QCAT Repair Order to undertake or maintenance of the rental property within the specified time
    • The property owner provided false or misleading information about the tenancy agreement or rental property
    • A person is escaping domestic and family violence
    • A co-tenant is deceased

    For the Queensland Government

    • The rental property is required for a public or statutory purpose
    • The Department of Housing and Public Works requires the rental property to manage public housing as a scarce resource

    Protections against retaliatory actions would be enhanced.

    Property owners could use an expanded set of additional approved reasons to end a tenancy agreement with grounds if their circumstances change to ensure they are not unfairly locked into a tenancy agreement.

    Recommended option: Require property owners to only end tenancies for approved reasons and introduce additional approved reasons to end a tenancy

    The ability for property owners to end a tenancy without grounds would be removed. No further change is proposed to existing approved reasons to end a tenancy.

    Additional approved reasons to end a tenancy would be introduced, including:

    For property owners

    • The owner or their immediate family needs to move into the rental property
    • Significant renovations or repairs to the property are to be undertaken
    • The rental property has been sold and vacant possession is required
    • There has been a serious or significant breach of the tenancy agreement due to the actions of a tenant, occupant or guest
    • A person is occupying the rental property without consent (such as a squatter)

    For tenants

    • Rental property is not in good repair, is unfit for human habitation, or does not comply with minimum housing standards
    • Property owner has not complied with a QCAT Repair Order to undertake or maintenance of the rental property within the specified time
    • The property owner provided false or misleading information about the tenancy agreement or rental property
    • A person is escaping domestic and family violence
    • A co-tenant is deceased

    For the Queensland Government

    • The rental property is required for a public or statutory purpose
    • The Department of Housing and Public Works requires the rental property to manage public housing as a scarce resource

    Protections against retaliatory actions would be enhanced.

    Property owners could use an expanded set of additional approved reasons to end a tenancy agreement with grounds if their circumstances change to ensure they are not unfairly locked into a tenancy agreement.

  • Housing quality and minimum housing standards

    4 months ago

    Recommended option: Prescribe minimum housing standards for rental properties and enhance repair and maintenance provisions

    Minimum housing standards for rental properties would be prescribed to ensure properties are safe, secure and functional. Proposed minimum housing standards clarify existing obligations for rental properties to be clean, in good repair and fit to live in, except those for privacy and lighting.

    Recommended standards include:

    • Weatherproof and structurally sound. A rental property is not:
      • weatherproof if ceilings or windows do not prevent water coming in due to rain
      • structurally sound if the walls, ceiling, roof, decks or stairs are likely to collapse because of rot or a defect or the floors, ceilings, walls or other supporting structures are affected by significant dampness
    • Plumbing and drainage. A rental property must:
      • have adequate plumbing and drainage for the number of tenants or residents occupying the property under a tenancy or rooming accommodation agreement
      • be connected to a water supply service or infrastructure that can supply hot and cold water for drinking, bathing and cleaning
      • have each toilet functioning as designed, including flushing and refilling, and be connected to a sewer, septic system or other council approved waste disposal system.
    • Security:
      • A tenant must be able to secure the property and rely on the functionality and effectiveness of security measures in the property.
      • Rental properties must have functioning latches for external windows and doors to secure against entry to the property.
      • For rooming accommodation tenancies, there must be a functioning lock or latch fitted to all entries to a resident’s room.
    • Fixtures and fittings
      • Fixtures and fittings (e.g. taps and appliances) provided in the rental property must not present a health or safety risk to a person with ordinary use.
      • A tenant must be able to rely on the functionality and effectiveness of the fixtures and fittings in the rental property.
    • Pests, vermin and infestation
      • Rental properties must be free of plant and animal pests, noxious plants, fungus growths or other infestations of micro-organisms to maintain the health and safety of tenants.
    • Adequate ventilation
      • Rental properties must have adequate ventilation in each room through opening windows, vents or exhaust fans to support health and safety.
      • Ventilation is inadequate if it contributes to the growth of mould and mildew in the room.
    • Lighting
      • Rental properties must have adequate natural or artificial light in each room, other than a room intended to be used only for storage or as a garage.
    • Privacy
      • The toilet and bathroom facilities in rental properties must provide the user with privacy.
      • Window coverings or treatments are provided in rooms where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
    • Cooking and food preparation facilities
      • Rental properties should allow tenants to cook, prepare and store food, including a functioning cooktop and sink, food preparation areas and storage areas other than refrigerated storage areas.

    Enhance existing repair and maintenance provisions to ensure property owners and managers comply with proposed minimum housing standards and repair and maintenance obligations, including:

    • Tribunal repair orders can be sought by tenants and interested parties and enforced by the Residential Tenancies Authority, including that a rental property cannot be rented or reduce rent until repairs/maintenance are completed
    • Allow tenants seven days to complete and return the entry condition report, increase the amount a tenant can authorise for emergency repairs up to the equivalent of four (currently two) weeks’ rent, and ensure tenants have contact details for the owner or a nominated representative to arrange repairs and maintenance
    • Allow property managers to authorise up to the equivalent of four weeks rent for emergency repairs if the owner is unavailable.

    Property owners already meeting their repair and maintenance obligations will not be impacted by this reform. For the small proportion of affected property owners, meeting these obligations could help to improve or maintain the value of their investment and stop issues from becoming bigger and more costly problems.

    Property owners and managers will also benefit from clearer rights and obligations, which could help to reduce disputes or to resolve disputes faster and simplify property management.

    Recommended option: Prescribe minimum housing standards for rental properties and enhance repair and maintenance provisions

    Minimum housing standards for rental properties would be prescribed to ensure properties are safe, secure and functional. Proposed minimum housing standards clarify existing obligations for rental properties to be clean, in good repair and fit to live in, except those for privacy and lighting.

    Recommended standards include:

    • Weatherproof and structurally sound. A rental property is not:
      • weatherproof if ceilings or windows do not prevent water coming in due to rain
      • structurally sound if the walls, ceiling, roof, decks or stairs are likely to collapse because of rot or a defect or the floors, ceilings, walls or other supporting structures are affected by significant dampness
    • Plumbing and drainage. A rental property must:
      • have adequate plumbing and drainage for the number of tenants or residents occupying the property under a tenancy or rooming accommodation agreement
      • be connected to a water supply service or infrastructure that can supply hot and cold water for drinking, bathing and cleaning
      • have each toilet functioning as designed, including flushing and refilling, and be connected to a sewer, septic system or other council approved waste disposal system.
    • Security:
      • A tenant must be able to secure the property and rely on the functionality and effectiveness of security measures in the property.
      • Rental properties must have functioning latches for external windows and doors to secure against entry to the property.
      • For rooming accommodation tenancies, there must be a functioning lock or latch fitted to all entries to a resident’s room.
    • Fixtures and fittings
      • Fixtures and fittings (e.g. taps and appliances) provided in the rental property must not present a health or safety risk to a person with ordinary use.
      • A tenant must be able to rely on the functionality and effectiveness of the fixtures and fittings in the rental property.
    • Pests, vermin and infestation
      • Rental properties must be free of plant and animal pests, noxious plants, fungus growths or other infestations of micro-organisms to maintain the health and safety of tenants.
    • Adequate ventilation
      • Rental properties must have adequate ventilation in each room through opening windows, vents or exhaust fans to support health and safety.
      • Ventilation is inadequate if it contributes to the growth of mould and mildew in the room.
    • Lighting
      • Rental properties must have adequate natural or artificial light in each room, other than a room intended to be used only for storage or as a garage.
    • Privacy
      • The toilet and bathroom facilities in rental properties must provide the user with privacy.
      • Window coverings or treatments are provided in rooms where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
    • Cooking and food preparation facilities
      • Rental properties should allow tenants to cook, prepare and store food, including a functioning cooktop and sink, food preparation areas and storage areas other than refrigerated storage areas.

    Enhance existing repair and maintenance provisions to ensure property owners and managers comply with proposed minimum housing standards and repair and maintenance obligations, including:

    • Tribunal repair orders can be sought by tenants and interested parties and enforced by the Residential Tenancies Authority, including that a rental property cannot be rented or reduce rent until repairs/maintenance are completed
    • Allow tenants seven days to complete and return the entry condition report, increase the amount a tenant can authorise for emergency repairs up to the equivalent of four (currently two) weeks’ rent, and ensure tenants have contact details for the owner or a nominated representative to arrange repairs and maintenance
    • Allow property managers to authorise up to the equivalent of four weeks rent for emergency repairs if the owner is unavailable.

    Property owners already meeting their repair and maintenance obligations will not be impacted by this reform. For the small proportion of affected property owners, meeting these obligations could help to improve or maintain the value of their investment and stop issues from becoming bigger and more costly problems.

    Property owners and managers will also benefit from clearer rights and obligations, which could help to reduce disputes or to resolve disputes faster and simplify property management.

  • Domestic and family violence (DFV) protections

    4 months ago

    Recommended option: Improve tenancy law protections for people experiencing DFV to stay or leave safely

    Tenants experiencing DFV could:

    • leave quickly and safely by providing 7 days' notice to exit a tenancy and leave immediately, with their liability for end of tenancy costs capped at the 7-day notice period
    • access any contribution they had made to the rental bond held for the property through simplified processes
    • install security measures to assist them to stay in their rental property safely, including to change locks.

    Property owners would be safeguarded by requiring:

    • tenants to provide evidence they are experiencing domestic and family violence
    • remaining tenants to top up the bond if a bond contribution is refunded to a tenant that has accessed the DFV protections.

    Recommended option: Improve tenancy law protections for people experiencing DFV to stay or leave safely

    Tenants experiencing DFV could:

    • leave quickly and safely by providing 7 days' notice to exit a tenancy and leave immediately, with their liability for end of tenancy costs capped at the 7-day notice period
    • access any contribution they had made to the rental bond held for the property through simplified processes
    • install security measures to assist them to stay in their rental property safely, including to change locks.

    Property owners would be safeguarded by requiring:

    • tenants to provide evidence they are experiencing domestic and family violence
    • remaining tenants to top up the bond if a bond contribution is refunded to a tenant that has accessed the DFV protections.
  • Minor modifications

    4 months ago

    Recommended option: Establish mechanisms to manage minor changes to rental properties with appropriate safeguards

    Minor modifications would be defined as changes that can be reversed, do not permanently alter the rental property and do not require building or other approvals.

    Two categories of minor changes would be established with streamlined approval mechanisms.

    1. Health and safety, security and accessibility changes could be made without the owner’s consent.
      1. Tenants must inform the owner of changes before or as soon as practicable after they are made.
      2. Property owners will be required to obtain an order from QCAT to refuse permission for changes required by the tenant for accessibility, safety or security of the property.
      3. Examples of minor changes in this category include furniture anchors, grab rails, dead locks or telephone and data connections.
    2. Personalisation, energy efficiency and communication service connection changes require owner permission.
      1. Permission would be deemed granted if the owner does not respond to a request to make these changes within seven days.
      2. Property owners will be required to provide reasonable grounds to refuse permission, such as it would significantly change the property or is not consistent with the nature of the property, change to other residential properties or common areas would be needed, or could cause significant damage to the property.
      3. Examples include hanging pictures, installing water efficient taps or cable television connections.

    Tenants must comply with any rules or by-laws that apply in managed communities, such as community title schemes or park rules.

    Property owners will be safeguarded by requiring:

    • tenants to ensure the works are carried out by a qualified tradesperson when required.
    • tenants to repair any damage caused by installing, making or removing minor changes.
    • agreement to be reached with the tenant about whether minor changes made to the rental property will be retained as an improvement or the rental property must be returned to substantially the same condition, less fair wear and tear.

    Recommended option: Establish mechanisms to manage minor changes to rental properties with appropriate safeguards

    Minor modifications would be defined as changes that can be reversed, do not permanently alter the rental property and do not require building or other approvals.

    Two categories of minor changes would be established with streamlined approval mechanisms.

    1. Health and safety, security and accessibility changes could be made without the owner’s consent.
      1. Tenants must inform the owner of changes before or as soon as practicable after they are made.
      2. Property owners will be required to obtain an order from QCAT to refuse permission for changes required by the tenant for accessibility, safety or security of the property.
      3. Examples of minor changes in this category include furniture anchors, grab rails, dead locks or telephone and data connections.
    2. Personalisation, energy efficiency and communication service connection changes require owner permission.
      1. Permission would be deemed granted if the owner does not respond to a request to make these changes within seven days.
      2. Property owners will be required to provide reasonable grounds to refuse permission, such as it would significantly change the property or is not consistent with the nature of the property, change to other residential properties or common areas would be needed, or could cause significant damage to the property.
      3. Examples include hanging pictures, installing water efficient taps or cable television connections.

    Tenants must comply with any rules or by-laws that apply in managed communities, such as community title schemes or park rules.

    Property owners will be safeguarded by requiring:

    • tenants to ensure the works are carried out by a qualified tradesperson when required.
    • tenants to repair any damage caused by installing, making or removing minor changes.
    • agreement to be reached with the tenant about whether minor changes made to the rental property will be retained as an improvement or the rental property must be returned to substantially the same condition, less fair wear and tear.
  • Renting with pets

    4 months ago

    Recommended option: Owner cannot unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request to keep a pet and can require the tenant to meet special conditions, including to pay a pet bond

    Tenants and owners would be supported to reach agreement on renting with pets by requiring property owners to have reasonable grounds for refusing a tenant’s request for a pet, such as unacceptable risks to health, safety or the condition of the property or the property is unsuitable for the proposed pet.

    Tenants must comply with any rules or by-laws that apply in managed communities, such as community title schemes or park rules, and must repair any damage to the rental property caused by their pet during the tenancy.

    Property owners could:

    • obtain a tribunal order to exclude pets (or a type of pet) from a rental property if a reasonable ground does not apply or the reason the property is unsuitable to keep pets or a type of pet is unlikely to change.
    • require the tenant to pay a pet bond OR include a special condition in the tenancy agreement for professional pest control and carpet cleaning to be undertaken at the end of the tenancy.
    • continue to claim against the rental bond for the costs to repair any damage caused by pets during the tenancy.

    The proposed reforms would also encourage tenants and property owners to disclose information about pets to help reach agreement, for example through pet resumes or information about the suitability of the rental property for pets or a type of pet and any special conditions that may apply.

    Recommended option: Owner cannot unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request to keep a pet and can require the tenant to meet special conditions, including to pay a pet bond

    Tenants and owners would be supported to reach agreement on renting with pets by requiring property owners to have reasonable grounds for refusing a tenant’s request for a pet, such as unacceptable risks to health, safety or the condition of the property or the property is unsuitable for the proposed pet.

    Tenants must comply with any rules or by-laws that apply in managed communities, such as community title schemes or park rules, and must repair any damage to the rental property caused by their pet during the tenancy.

    Property owners could:

    • obtain a tribunal order to exclude pets (or a type of pet) from a rental property if a reasonable ground does not apply or the reason the property is unsuitable to keep pets or a type of pet is unlikely to change.
    • require the tenant to pay a pet bond OR include a special condition in the tenancy agreement for professional pest control and carpet cleaning to be undertaken at the end of the tenancy.
    • continue to claim against the rental bond for the costs to repair any damage caused by pets during the tenancy.

    The proposed reforms would also encourage tenants and property owners to disclose information about pets to help reach agreement, for example through pet resumes or information about the suitability of the rental property for pets or a type of pet and any special conditions that may apply.