Stage 2 Rental Reforms – A Quick Guide

Stage 2 Rental Reforms – A Quick Guide

13 May 2024

In response to the ongoing rental housing crisis, the Queensland State Government has announced its intention to introduce a range of proposed rental reforms under its $160M Renters Relief Package, which forms part of its Homes for Queenslanders plan. Following on from the Stage 1 Rental Reforms, which were brought into full effect in September 2023 with the implementation of Minimum Housing Standards, they are now in the process of delivering their next round of legislative changes and reforms, known as Stage 2 Rental Reforms.

 

What’s it About?

Designed to provide a balanced approach that protects renters and rental property owners while improving stability in the rental market, community consultation for this proposed bill was completed during April/May of 2023 and on 21 March 2024, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works introduced the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 to Queensland Parliament.

Here is a summary of what has been proposed and what is likely to happen next.

What is in the Proposed Bill?

The following is a summary of the proposed changes:

  1. Introduction of a rental bond roll-over scheme to allow bonds to be transferred between tenancies. A bridging bond loan product will be introduced by the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works (the Department) while this scheme is established to assist eligible households to afford the upfront cost of a new bond, pending release of their old bond
  2. Rent bidding and acceptance of rent offers higher than the listing price will be banned and penalties will be enforced
  3. Frequency of rent increases will be attached to the property, not the individual tenancy; Tenants can request evidence of the last rent increase including obtaining a copy of the previous tenancy agreement and rental ledger
  4. New framework for parties involved in a tenancy to agree on installation of minor modifications
  5. Entry notice requirement to change from 24 hours’ to 48 hours’ notice
  6. Tenants must be provided with at least one fee free option for payment of rent
  7. Set timeframe of 4 weeks from receipt for a tenant to be provided with a copy of a utility bill for payment – Otherwise they are not obligated to pay it
  8. New code of Conduct for property managers
  9. New standardised rental application form for use by all agents
  10. Break-lease/re-letting costs to be limited and based on a set formula depending on the time left on the tenancy
  11. New and improved rental grants and subsidies, and increasing the number of RentConnect frontline service officers from 21 to 42.

What Happens Next?

Until such time as the bill is passed and the new reforms are officially introduced, it is important for tenants, landlords and industry professionals to remember that existing laws continue to apply until such time as the new laws are passed through parliament. The Bill has not yet been passed into law, and has been referred to the Housing, Big Build and Manufacturing Parliamentary Committee for detailed consideration and report by 10 May 2024 – Which means an announcement of the likely implementation date of this Bill (if passed) will be imminent.

As always, House will endeavour to keep you informed should any new information come to light or if there are any official announcements made as to when these new laws are likely to take effect.

Til next time, ciao 😊

 

Disclaimer: The information is this article is for general information only, it is not intended and should not be considered as either legal or financial advice. The information contained herein should not be relied upon solely and all parties are encouraged to obtain their own independent advice before making any financial decision.
Sources: Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning & Public Works; Residential Tenancies Authority; Real Estate Institute of Queensland
Lee Knutsen

Article by Lee Knutsen

Co-founder & Managing Director of House, Lee Knutsen first entered the real estate industry in 2006 as a residential sales specialist. After more than a decade as a sales agent…

Call 0412 757 981 Email Lee