Queensland Rental Law Updates

Queensland Rental Law Updates

As part of ongoing efforts to enhance the rental market and improve the transparency and fairness of the rental application process, significant changes to rental laws commenced on 6 June 2024. These changes aim to protect tenants, ensure fair practices and improve the overall quality of rental housing in Queensland. 

If you are a tenant, property manager or owner it is important to understand how these changes affect you to remain compliant and for a successful tenancy. 

Key changes

Rent bidding ban and rent increase limitations 

  • All forms of rent bidding are banned

  • Rent increases are limited to once every 12 months and are tied to the property, not the tenancy

  • Written tenancy agreements must state the date of the last rent increase

Limits on rent in advance 

  • At the application stage, rent in advance is capped at one month for fixed-term general tenancies and two weeks for rooming accommodation, moveable dwellings or periodic tenancies

  • Once a tenancy is established, tenants may offer and landlords may accept more rent in advance

Documentation of rent increase

  • Property managers or owners must provide written evidence of the date of the last rent increase within 14 days if requested by the tenant

Fixed pricing for rooming accommodation

  • Rooming accommodation must be offered at a fixed price

  • Bonds for any agreement, including rooming accommodation must be lodged with the Rental Tenancies Authority (RTA) within 10 days

Entry for smoke alarm maintenance

  • New grounds are established for property entry to install, maintain or repair smoke alarms

Bond refunds and related processes 

  • The RTA can release a bond refund per the original request following a bond matter being dismissed or withdrawn at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)

  • Changes are also being introduced to the bond refund process where a commercial bond loan supplier is involved

General amendments

  • Heads of power have been established for future implementation of new regulations relating to a portable bonds scheme, a code of conduct for the rental sector and guidelines for tenants to request property modifications for safety, security and accessibility

  • New offences and increased penalties will allow the RTA to take greater enforcement action

  • Changes are also being introduced to the process of dealing with goods left behind at a property

  • Other changes include expanded confidentiality requirements, particularly for domestic and family violence cases

Minimum Housing Standards Reminder

It is also important to remind everyone involved in the rental market that minimum housing standards are crucial for ensuring all rental properties in Queensland are safe, secure and functional. These standards apply to various types of tenancies including general tenancies, moveable dwellings and rooming accommodation agreements. 

Here are the key dates to remember: 

    • For New Tenancies: The updated minimum housing standards came into effect 1 September 2023

    • For All Tenancies: These standards will be enforced 1 September 2024

Tenants who find that their rental property does not meet these minimum standards have multiple options for addressing the issue. Property managers and owners are also provided with the mechanisms to address situations where tenant actions result in non-compliance with these standards. 

These legislation changes are aimed at fostering a fairer and more transparent rental market, with new penalty provisions and in some instances increased penalties to improve living conditions and ensure equitable treatment for all parties involved in rental agreements.

For more detailed guidance on how these changes may impact you, our team are available to assist, please contact your Simmons Livingstone advisor on 1800 618 800 or via email at admin@simmonslivingstone.com.au.

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