Queensland Government moves to make renting fairer

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering on its commitment to make renting fairer, with the introduction of new legislation into Queensland Parliament today.

The proposed laws will make it easier for Queensland renters to have a pet, and end ‘without grounds’ evictions, providing more certainty about ending a lease.

Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said the proposed reforms provide a balanced approach and help deliver certainty for the 34 per cent of Queensland households who rent.

“Queenslanders rely on safe, secure and affordable housing and we’re delivering on our election commitments to improve confidence in the rental market,” Ms Enoch said.

“The new laws provide a strong, balanced approach that protects the rights of renters and lessors, while improving stability in the rental market.

“At a time when more Queenslanders are renting, and renting for longer, we need to encourage market growth to help increase the number of rental properties in Queensland, while also protecting the rights of tenants.

“Our legislation strikes the right balance between the needs of the community, while also supporting continued investment in the housing market.”

The new laws will ensure all Queensland rental properties meet minimum quality standards, will provide clarity about the end of a tenancy, and will make it easier for renters to have a pet.

“We are also ensuring people fleeing domestic and family violence are able to end a lease with seven days’ notice, to ensure there is no barrier to being able to end a lease quickly and safely.”

These reforms progress Stage 1 of the Palaszczuk Government’s rental law reforms.

Ms Enoch said that some of the proposed renting reforms, such as the domestic and family violence measure, were tested during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These reforms have been proposed following public consultation, to ensure all Queenslanders could have their say.

“We also received over 135,000 responses through the Open Doors to Renting Reform consultation, and over 15,000 responses when we consulted on Stage 1 reforms through the Regulatory Impact Statement,” Ms Enoch said.

Minister Enoch said the Greens’ renting Bill which was introduced in May would make it less likely that an owner would rent out their property.

“What we need right now are more rental properties available for Queenslanders and their Bill will do the exact opposite.

“Once again, the Greens have demonstrated they are incapable of balanced and responsible policy-making,” Ms Enoch said.

Ms Enoch said that seniors living in resident-operated retirement villages would also benefit from the amendment legislation introduced today.

“The proposed changes will deliver on another of our election commitments, to enable resident-operated retirement villages to be exempted from mandatory buyback requirements under the Retirement Villages Act 1999,” she said.

“This will provide certainty and peace of mind to a small number of retirement villages where residents control and operate the retirement village themselves.”

Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella said the government consulted extensively with various stakeholders to seek a fair and balanced outcome in the renting reforms.

“We recognise that tenancy laws in Queensland must be modernised to keep pace with our changing rental landscape. In circumstances where 36% of our community rent their homes, the right regulatory framework is critically important to provide security and certainty to both tenants and owners,” Ms Mercorella said.

Micah Projects CEO Karyn Walsh said the domestic violence provisions in the Bill were vital during the COVID-19 health emergency.

“I applaud the Government for ensuring that these provisions will remain in legislation. Being able to leave a tenancy without a financial burden is an important consideration for women and families fleeing domestic violence,” Ms Walsh said.

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