QLD Rental Law Changes

October 18, 2023

Key takeaways:

  • The new QLD rental laws bolster tenant rights, offering more flexibility with pets and providing avenues to terminate leases under specific circumstances.
  • Set to be enforced from 30 September 2023, the Minimum Housing Standards will require specific physical conditions and features for rental properties, impacting landlords and benefiting tenants.
  • The regulations now restrict rent increases to once every 12 months, and proposed tax deductions for housing developers aim to stimulate the development of affordable housing across Queensland.

The recent QLD rental law changes involved things like tenants getting more rights to keep pets as well as tenants having a shorter notice period when ending the lease.

Additionally, new legislation has been introduced that limits rent increases to no more than once every 12 months.

These pivotal shifts in rental laws directly impact landlords and tenants alike. This article aims to dissect these QLD rental law changes, offering a clear, concise guide on what to expect and how to adeptly manage these transitions in the rental sector.

Recently Implemented Changes and Their Impact

Overview of Implemented Changes

The rental law landscape in Queensland has witnessed notable changes, particularly in areas concerning tenant rights regarding pets and lease termination under specific circumstances.

Tenants now enjoy enhanced rights to keep pets, with landlords requiring reasonable grounds to refuse a pet request.

Furthermore, alterations in the laws now afford tenants the ability to end a lease with a shorter notice period under particular circumstances, such as when personal safety is involved.

Overview of New Rental Law Changes in Queensland:

  1. Pets:
    • Tenants can have pets; landlords need a valid reason and must reply in writing to refuse permission.
    • Possible additional pet-related bond.
  2. Lease Termination:
    • Tenants, under specific circumstances like domestic violence, can terminate leases early.
    • 7 days’ notice and relevant evidence required for special cases.
    • 14 days notice if the termination is without grounds for periodic agreements.
    • Later of 14 days or the day the agreement ends for fixed-term agreements.
  3. Minor Modifications:
    • The tenant can only attach a fixture, or make a structural change, if the property manager/owner agrees.
    • Should a tenant add a fixture without obtaining written authorisation, the property manager or owner has the right to either request reimbursement for restoring the property to its initial state, or opt to retain the fixture as an enhancement to the property.
  4. Rent Increases:
    • Limited to once every 12 months.
    • Two months’ notice required.
    • Learn more here.
  5. Property Entry:
    • 24 hours’ notice for routine repairs.
    • 1-hour arrival window must be provided.
  6. Ending Tenancy Without Grounds:
    • Removed for agreements post-30 April 2021.
  7. New Grounds for Ending Tenancy:
    • Includes property sale requiring vacant possession.
  8. Minimum Housing Standards:
    • Enforced from 1 September 2023, ensuring basic living standards eg: property must be weatherproof and structurally sound. Please see section below for more information.
    • Minimum housing standards will come into effect for all remaining tenancies on 1 September 2024.
  9. Smoke Alarms and Safety Switches:
  10. Water Charging:
    • Tenants can only be charged for all water consumption if the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption.

These succinct points encapsulate the pivotal changes in Queensland’s rental laws, aiming to balance tenant living conditions with landlord management. Both parties must be cognisant of these adjustments to ensure harmonious rental relationships and compliance with the new norms.

Impact on Tenants and Landlords

qld rental law changes

The recent changes necessitate a thorough review and possible modification of current agreements and management practices for both tenants and landlords. For tenants, when considering renting a home, it’s essential to understand the nuances of both written and no written tenancy agreements in QLD.

Even without a formal agreement, certain protections are provided under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

Landlords, while they have specific owners rights on rental property, may need to revisit their property management strategies, ensuring they align with the new regulations while maintaining a balanced relationship with their tenants.

Adapting to the New Norms

Adaptation to these changes requires a thorough understanding and effective communication between tenants and landlords. Tenants should be proactive in understanding their enhanced rights and responsibilities under the new tenant laws.

Landlords should ensure their properties and management practices comply with the new regulations, possibly requiring adjustments in their lease agreements, property management strategies, and tenant communication protocols.

How the Change of Minimum Housing Standards Will Affect Landlords and Tenants

A. Unveiling the Upcoming Standards

The forthcoming minimum housing standards in QLD are set to introduce specific requirements concerning the physical condition and features of rental properties.

These standards, expected to be enforced from 30 September 2023, will encompass various aspects of the properties.

Rental properties must:

  1. Be weatherproof and structurally sound.
  2. Be in good repair, with fixtures and fittings (e.g., electrical appliances) that are not likely to cause injury during normal use.
  3. Have functioning locks or latches on all external doors and windows that can be accessed without a ladder.
  4. Be free from vermin, damp, and mould (excluding cases where these issues are caused by the tenant).
  5. Include curtains or other window coverings in rooms where privacy is expected, such as bedrooms.
  6. Have adequate plumbing and drainage and be connected to potable hot and cold water.
  7. Provide privacy in bathroom areas and have flushable toilets connected to a proper waste disposal system.
  8. Have a functioning cook-top if a kitchen is provided.
  9. Include necessary fixtures for a functional laundry (e.g., tap fixtures and adequate plumbing). Note: The laundry does not need to have a washing machine or other white goods, as these can be provided by the tenant.

B. Implications for Tenants and Landlords

The introduction of these standards will necessitate landlords to ensure their properties meet the specified criteria, potentially requiring upgrades or modifications to align with the new regulations.

Tenants will gain by residing in properties that adhere to a regulated standard, enhancing their living conditions and ensuring basic amenities and conditions are met.

If a rental property does not meet the minimum housing standards, tenants have various options, depending on the type of tenancy agreement (general tenancy or rooming accommodation). There are specific factsheets available for both general tenancies and rooming accommodation that provide detailed information on the available options.

In cases where a rental property is part of a body corporate, it must comply with both the minimum housing standards and the body corporate by-laws. There might be situations where repairs to ensure compliance with the minimum housing standards fall under the responsibility of the body corporate.

C. Preparing for the Transition

“Landlords should commence evaluating their properties against the upcoming standards, identifying areas that require attention and planning for necessary modifications.”

Tenants should stay informed about these standards, understanding what to expect and ensuring their residences comply once the regulations come into effect.

Changes in QLD Rent Increase Laws and Their Consequences

QLD Rental Law Changes

A. New Rules Regarding Rent Increases

Queensland’s rental reform introduces new guidelines concerning rent increases, ensuring tenants are not subjected to abrupt or unjustified rental hikes.

The new regulations stipulate that rent can only be increased once every 12 months, even for new or renewed agreements.

This change aims to provide tenants with financial stability and predictability, allowing them to budget effectively and safeguarding them from unexpected financial strain.

B. Implications for Rental Agreements and Financial Planning

For landlords, this change necessitates a strategic approach to financial planning and property management. Ensuring that rental prices are set judiciously from the outset of an agreement and considering future financial projections becomes paramount.

Tenants, on the other hand, gain the assurance of stable rental prices for the duration of their lease, enabling them to plan their finances with certainty and security.

C. Ensuring Compliance and Managing Adjustments

Landlords must ensure that their practices comply with the new regulations, which may involve revising and updating rental agreements and communicating transparently with tenants regarding these changes.

Tenants should be vigilant in understanding their rights under the new regulations, ensuring they are not subjected to unauthorized rent increases and are informed about the correct protocols should such a situation arise.

Tax Revisions for Housing Developers and Their Impact

qld rental law changes Taxation

A. Proposed Tax Deductions for Housing Developers

The Queensland government has proposed laws aimed at providing tax deductions for housing developers, with the intent of encouraging the development of affordable housing across the state.

This initiative seeks to address housing shortages and provide more options for tenants seeking affordable rental properties.

B. Impact on the Rental Market and Housing Availability

These taxation changes are poised to potentially influence the rental market by increasing the availability of rental properties and providing more options for tenants.

The increased supply of rental properties may also influence rental prices and the quality of available properties, as developers may be more inclined to invest in properties that cater to a wider range of tenants.

C. Navigating Through the New Taxation Landscape

Housing developers should stay abreast of these proposed changes, understanding how they can benefit from them and how it might influence their investment and development strategies.

“Tenants should also stay informed about the potential increase in available properties and how this might influence their rental choices and opportunities in the future.”

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Encouraging Informed and Communicative Approaches

It’s imperative for both tenants and landlords to approach these changes with an informed and communicative mindset.

Ensuring that practices and agreements comply with the new regulations, while also maintaining transparent and open communication between tenants and landlords, will be key to managing these transitions effectively.

Both parties should be proactive in understanding their rights, responsibilities, and any new procedures or requirements under the new laws.

Moving Forward with Available Resources

As the rental sector in Queensland adapts to these changes, utilizing available resources will be key to staying informed and managing the transitions effectively.

The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) provides a wealth of information and resources for both tenants and landlords, ensuring they have access to the latest information and assistance in managing their tenancies under the new laws.

Additional Resources and Support

A. Legal and Procedural Guidance

  • Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA): The RTA provides comprehensive information, resources, and support for managing tenancies in Queensland, ensuring compliance with the latest laws and regulations.
  • Tenants Queensland: This organization offers support and advice for tenants, providing resources and assistance in understanding and managing their rights and responsibilities under the new laws.

B. Financial and Developmental Insights

  • Queensland Government – Housing and Public Works: This resource provides insights into the proposed taxation revisions for housing developers and how they aim to influence the development of affordable housing in Queensland.
  • Australian Taxation Office (ATO): The ATO provides detailed information regarding taxation, including any upcoming changes and how they might impact property investment and development.

C. Community and Support Services

  • QSTARS (Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service): QSTARS offers free advice for tenants, assisting them in understanding their rights and managing their tenancies effectively.
  • QLD Shelter: This organization aims to provide all Queenslanders with access to affordable, appropriate, and secure housing, offering resources and support for managing housing and tenancies.

Navigating through the new rental laws in Queensland can be managed effectively with the right information and support. Both tenants and landlords are encouraged to utilize available resources, ensuring they are informed, compliant, and able to manage their tenancies effectively under the new regulations.

Suggested Reading: To stay informed when you rent, make sure you’re up to date about your rights. Check out our piece on Renters Rights: What You Should Know.

Should you find any discrepancies or feel there’s crucial information missing, please do not hesitate to inform us. We value accuracy and are always open to constructive feedback.

FAQs on QLD Rental Law Changes

What is Stage 1 rental reform in Qld?

Stage 1 rental reform in Queensland is the first stage of a two-stage reform process. Stage 1 reforms came into effect on 1 July 2023 and include the limit on rent increases and the new process for tenants to request repairs.

Stage 2 reforms are currently being developed and are expected to come into effect in 2024. Stage 2 reforms will focus on other areas of rental law, such as tenancy agreements, bond refunds, and eviction.

How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant in Queensland?

In 2021, a law was passed where a landlord in Queensland must give a tenant at least 60 days’ notice to terminate a fixed-term lease. If the landlord wants to terminate a periodic lease, the notice period depends on what is stated in the agreement.

Is there a limit on rent increase in Qld?

Yes, there is a limit on rent increases in Queensland. Landlords can only increase the rent once every 12 months. The increase must also be reasonable.

What is the highest percentage a landlord can raise rent?

There is no set percentage that a landlord can raise the rent by in Queensland. However, the increase must be reasonable. Factors that a landlord may consider when deciding how much to increase the rent include the current market rent, the condition of the property, and the tenant’s rental history.

If you are a tenant and you receive a rent increase notice, you should check to make sure that the increase is reasonable. If you believe that the increase is unreasonable, you can negotiate with your landlord or you can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a determination.

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