With more rental law reform incoming, it’s important that both tenants and landlords are familiar with their rights and obligations.
Rent increase – once per year
Importantly, on 28 March 2023, the Premier announced the Queensland Government is limiting the frequency of rent increases to once every 12 months from 1 July 2023. Until this legislation comes into effect, current rent increase rules apply.
Minimum Housing Standards
It has also been announced that minimum housing standards will shortly apply to rental properties, including coming into effect for new tenancies from 1 September 2023, and for all tenancies from 1 September 2024.
Minimum housing standards provide that a rental property must:
- be weatherproof and structurally sound
- be in good repair, with fixtures and fittings (such as electrical appliances) that are not likely to cause injury through normal use
- have functioning locks or latches on all external doors and windows that can be reached without a ladder
- be free from vermin, damp and mould (this does not include cases where the vermin, damp or mould has been caused by the tenant)
- include curtains or other window coverings, which provide privacy in rooms where the tenant might reasonably expect it, such as bedrooms
- have adequate plumbing and drainage and be connected to hot and cold water that is suitable for drinking
- provide privacy in bathroom areas and have flushable toilets connected to a sewer, septic tank or other waste disposal system
- have a functioning cook-top, if a kitchen is provided
- include the necessary fixtures for a functional laundry, such as tap fixtures and adequate plumbing, if laundry facilities are provided.
Does your rental property meet these minimum standards? It may be worthwhile considering these minimum standard before the legislation comes into effect.
Stage 2 rental reform
As part of the Queensland Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021-2025, stage 2 of the law reform consultation is taking place.
The primary priorities of the stage 2 law reform are as follows:
- installing modifications – making it easier for tenants to install the safety, security and accessibility modifications if needed;
- making minor personalisation changes – helping parties negotiate about making minor personalisation changes to rental properties;
- balancing privacy and access – balancing a tenants rights to privacy with a landlord’s need for information to inform their investment decisions;
- improving the rental bond process – ensuring rental bond settings provide appropriate security and parties are transparent and accountable for their bond claims;
- fees and charges – ensuring rent payment, utility and reletting fees and charges are fair and reasonable.
Have your say in relation to these proposed reforms by completing the survey or making a submission by 5:00pm on 29 May 2023.
If you, or someone you know, is having a tenancy issue either as a landlord or a tenant, please let us know. The team of experienced tenancy lawyers at McCarthy Durie Lawyers will be happy to assist you. You can contact us via email or phone.