What are the new tenancy laws in Queensland and how do they affect you?

Industry News

What are the new tenancy laws in Queensland and how do they affect you?

Since 2018, the Queensland Government has been conducting research and working with tenants, property owners and Property Managers to gain a deeper understanding of the kind of changes that needed to be made to tenancy laws across the state — in a bid to make renting fairer and more balanced for all parties involved.

After extensive research and consultation, a few key issues were determined to be of top priority for evaluation and reform. The proposed changes were then introduced to state parliament, where the bill was passed, and on 1 October 2022, the first stage of these rental reforms came into effect.

To help you better understand these changes and the impact that they will have on your role as a Property Manager, we’ve put together a quick summary of each of the recent rental reforms. We’ve also outlined how these changes will affect each party to a tenancy agreement.

So, let’s get into it.

Please note that the information in this article is general information only and is correct as of 26th October 2022. This information is not intended as legal advice and does not take into consideration any unique circumstances. For legal advice, please speak to a qualified property law specialist.

What are the new tenancy laws in Queensland?

As we mentioned earlier, these new tenancy laws have been brought into effect to help make the tenancy relationship more balanced between renters and landlords. These changes will ultimately also affect your responsibilities and ensure that you work with your clients daily.

So, what are the new tenancy law changes?

Changes to how a tenancy can be ended

Changes have been made to the reasons that a landlord can use to end a tenancy agreement to help protect tenants.

The most obvious change here is that a landlord can no longer end a tenancy “without grounds”. However, new grounds have also been introduced, such as the end of a fixed-term agreement.

Likewise, tenants now also have new grounds to end their tenancy if the property is not fit for habitation or does not meet the new Minimum Housing Standards set out by the Queensland Government.

Changes to negotiations when looking to rent with pets

New rental reforms have now made it easier for tenants to rent with a pet.

While tenants must still ask permission to keep a pet at the property, the landlord may no longer refuse without valid and reasonable grounds. In other words, a blanket “no pets” policy no longer applies.

The landlord must also respond to the request within 14 days, or the request will be automatically approved.

However, property owners can put in place reasonable conditions that must be met, such as having to keep the pet outside — and breach of these conditions could result in a breach of the tenancy agreement.

The introduction of Minimum Housing Standards

Minimum Housing Standards are set to be slowly introduced over the next couple of years.

New repair and maintenance obligations have now been put in place, with Minimum Housing Standards to be applied to all new leases from September 2023 and all tenancies from September 2024.

These new standards will cover requirements such as ensuring that the property is weatherproof and structurally sound, ensuring all windows and doors can be locked, and that kitchen and laundry facilities are in working order—providing renters with more confidence that their property is up to scratch.

It’s also worth noting that, as part of these reforms, temporary changes made to tenancy laws during the COVID pandemic to protect victims of domestic and family violence have now been made permanent as of October 2021.

These reforms make it easier for renters experiencing domestic or family violence to navigate the complexities of breaking and terminating leases when trying to leave a dangerous situation.

You can find a complete breakdown of Queensland’s new tenancy laws here.

How do the new reforms affect tenants?

As you can see, these reforms are largely in favour of the renter, helping to restore more balance to the landlord-tenant relationship.

Renters are now far more protected and supported when it comes to tenancy issues such as seeking property repairs, renting with pets or ending a lease fairly.

The introduction of Minimum Housing Standards also means that tenants are no longer expected to simply put up with properties that might be considered unfit for human habitation.

How do the new reforms affect landlords?

At first glance, landlords might believe that they have got the raw end of the deal with these rental reforms, but it’s fair to say that the tenancy laws were already heavily geared in their favour.

That’s not to say that landlords did not receive any benefits from these tenancy law changes.

Landlords now have more protections around property damage caused by pets and can now terminate a lease at the end of a fixed-term agreement.

Of course, with the new Minimum Housing Standards, landlords will have to ensure that they remain up to date with property maintenance and adhere to any changes to housing standards over time.

How do the new reforms affect Property Managers like you?

All Queensland-based Property Managers and Real Estate Agents need to ensure that they are across the recent changes to tenancy laws.

Of course, these changes will have an impact on your responsibilities and the way that you manage your clients’ properties, as well as how you manage your relationships with both landlords and tenants.

However, with the right tools and tech on your side, adopting these new reforms shouldn’t be too difficult a task.

Make Property Management a breeze with PropertyMe

At PropertyMe, we make property management a simple and effortless process for all parties involved. PropertyMe helps you stay compliant, increase efficiencies, and provide a better service to your landlords.

Our software is the most feature-rich cloud property management solution in Australia. With an easy-to-use interface, automated workflows, mobile app and simple client access, you’ll have everything you need to manage your properties with ease and keep your clients (and Property Managers) satisfied.

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