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Unlocking Rental Reforms: A Snapshot from REIQ

By Brianna Fullick

Important Updates to Queensland Rental Legislation as of 6th June 2024

There are new rental laws for Queensland that have been passed under residential tenancy legislation (RTRA Act). The rental law reforms were passed by Queensland Parliament and will commence in two stages.

Some laws commenced upon assent on 6 June 2024, while others will come into effect on a date to be advised upon proclamation.

The rental law changes are summarised as follows:

Rent and Increases

  • Rent Bidding: Rent bidding or accepting rent offers higher than the advertised price are banned.
  • Maximum Rent in Advance: A property manager/owner cannot, at the start of a new tenancy, solicit, accept, or invite a tenant to pay more rent in advance than prescribed limits, such as two weeks for a periodic tenancy agreement or one month for a fixed tenancy agreement, even if a prospective tenant offers to pay more.
  • Rent Increases: Rent increases are limited to 12 months and are attached to the property instead of the tenancy. Written agreements must state the date of the last rent increase.
  • Exemptions for Rent Increases: Exempt property managers/owners and exempt providers/agents are not subject to the minimum period to increase rent. The Act defines these exemptions.
  • Evidence of Last Increase: Tenants may request written evidence of the last rent increase, which must be provided within 14 days. This does not apply if the property is purchased within 12 months of commencement and the property manager/owner lacks information about the last rent increase date.
  • Undue Hardship: A managing party may apply to Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for permission to increase rent within 12 months due to undue hardship, with the tribunal considering the tenant’s affordability and ability to continue paying rent.

Privacy and Access

  • Smoke Alarm Grounds for Entry: New grounds are established for entry to rooming accommodation to install, maintain, or repair smoke alarms.

Bond Process

  • Rental Bond: If a bond dispute is dismissed or withdrawn at QCAT, the RTA can release the bond as per the original request.
  • Bond for Rooming Accommodation: Bonds must be lodged for each room where the owner lives on the premises with up to three rooms available for rent, as well as for student accommodation.

Other Changes

  • Establish New Regulations: Three new Heads of Power (regulations) will oversee the development and implementation of a new portable bond scheme, a rental sector code of conduct, and applications to make modifications for safety, security, or accessibility.
  • Providing False and Misleading Information: This now includes provisions for ‘the authority’ (RTA) with applicable penalties.
  • Greater Enforcement: New offence provisions allow the RTA to take greater enforcement actions to ensure compliance with the Act.

Rental Law Upcoming Changes (Commencement Date Yet to be Advised):

  • Re-letting Costs: These will be calculated based on the remaining time on the tenancy or rooming agreement and the duration of the fixed term agreement.
  • Rent Payments: Tenants must be offered two payment methods, including one that does not incur additional costs beyond usual bank fees and is reasonably accessible.
  • Disclosing Benefits: Any financial benefits received by managing parties regarding rent payments must be disclosed.
  • Utility Bills: Tenants must receive utility bills within four weeks unless the managing party has a reasonable excuse, otherwise the tenant is not obligated to pay. Changes are also made to how water charges are calculated and billed at the start or end of a tenancy.
  • Entry Notice Period and Frequency: The minimum entry notice period will increase from 24 to 48 hours, with new limits on entry frequency after issuing a notice to end the tenancy.
  • Rental Application Process: A new standardised rental application form must be used, allowing prospective tenants to lodge it in various ways beyond third-party platforms. There are also new guidelines on what information can be requested from applicants.
  • Protecting Privacy: New restrictions on personal information requests and collection by managing parties.
  • Request for Fixtures and Structural Changes: Revised process for tenants to request fixtures and structural changes, with managing parties required to respond within 28 days.
  • Maximum Bond: No more than four weeks’ rent can be requested as bond. Tenants can request a refund of bonds exceeding this amount before these changes take effect. Currently, if rent exceeds $700 per week, bond amounts are negotiable.
  • Evidence for Bond Claims: Managing parties must provide tenants with supporting evidence within 14 days of lodging a bond claim or dispute.
  • Information Sharing: The RTA can share information with other regulatory bodies, including the Office of Fair Trading.
  • New Regulations Commence: Three new Heads of Power (regulations) begin for the portable bond scheme, rental sector code of conduct, and applications for safety, security, or accessibility modifications.
  • Reminder Minimum Housing Standards: From 1st September 2024, minimum housing standards will be implemented for all tenancies. More details are available on the RTA website.

At Ray White CFG, we have been actively preparing for these changes to ensure compliance and smooth integration into our practices. Whether you are seeking property management in Upper Coomeraproperty manager services in Pacific Pines, need assistance from a property manager in Ormeau or anywhere in the Northern Gold Coast, we are here to help. Our commitment to being among the best property managers on the Northern Gold Coast drives us to stay ahead of these regulatory changes. For those interested in rentals in Coomera or any property management across the Northern Gold Coast, we provide expert guidance and support.

For more detailed information on the new rental laws, please refer to the links below:

For any questions or queries, your property manager can be contacted at Jean Brown 0425 296 093.

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