Update: New Rental Law Reforms in Queensland

The Queensland Government has continued powering forward on the ‘Homes for Queenslanders’ plan, with the State Parliament passing the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024, on 23 May 2024.

The Bill was introduced on 21 March 2024 to amend the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 with the Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms. 

Stage 1 reforms, which passed in October 2021, were more than welcomed by tenants, including new laws making it easier for renters to keep a pet, stopping landlords ending a lease without grounds, and limiting rent increases to once per year.

The impending Stage 2 reforms have been a hot topic of discussion amongst real estate industry professionals for the last 12 months, and a growing concern for private investors. 

On 29 May 2023, Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s CEO Antonia Mercorella wrote to the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, expressing the REIQ’s concerns and imploring the Queensland Government to reconsider its decision to implement further legislative changes at this time. 

“As outlined in this Submission, the REIQ opposes the implementation of Stage 2 rental reforms at this time. Although we are prepared to support some of the proposed measures in a modified format, we consider the timing and nature of these reforms to be inappropriate and extremely dangerous given the current unprecedented rental crisis and limited housing supply.”

On 10 April 2024, the REIQ put forward a comprehensive Submission which recommended 39 amendments to the Bill. While the REIQ is celebrating that some of its significant concerns have been addressed, the peak body is disappointed that many of its concerns were ignored and warns that flaws remain in the new legislation.

You can download and read the REIQ’s submission here.

The passing of the Stage 2 reforms delivers on the National Cabinet commitments under A Better Deal for Renters in Queensland. The objectives of the Bill are to strengthen renters’ rights, support private investment, provide better pathways to resolve issues in tenancies, and stabilise rents in the private rental market.

However, the REIQ feels that the Bill has ‘missed the mark’. Ms Mercorella said that she would have liked to have seen the Government and Opposition undertaking more consultation with stakeholders to ensure the legislation was practical and fair. 

“Given how imperative tenancy laws are to the health of the rental market, we are disappointed with how carelessly the Government continues to treat them, and how indifferent the Opposition has been in moving amendments on this Bill considering the values and interests they supposedly represent.”

The REIQ has advised that a number of changes to tenancy laws will commence on 6 June 2024, and that all property managers and landlords need to be aware of the following key changes. 

New Tenancy Laws Commencing 6 June 2024

Rent Bidding/Offers 

  • A landlord or property manager can no longer accept an offer from a tenant to pay rent above the advertised price. 

Rent in Advance 

  • When a residential tenancy is advertised or offered, a landlord or property manager can no longer accept an offer from a tenant to pay rent in advance if the amount is more than: for a general tenancy, 1 months’ rent.
  • A landlord or property manager can, however, accept rent in advance greater than the statutory limit during a tenancy if offered by the tenant.
  • A landlord or property manager cannot solicit or invite rent in advance greater than the statutory limit during a tenancy. 

Rent Increases 

  • The rent increase frequency limit will attach to the PROPERTY (instead of the tenancy). This means that rent must not be increased within 12 months after the date the rent was last increased for the property. This requirement applies regardless of whether there is a change of tenant or landlord in the 12-month period. The rent increase provisions will apply retrospectively.
  • A rent increase must be calculated from the date of the last rent increase for the property, even if this date occurred before the laws commenced.
  • A tenancy agreement will need to state the date rent was last increased for the property. Tenants will be able to request evidence of the last rent increase for the property, including a copy of the last tenant’s tenancy agreement or rental ledger (redacted). Transitional requirements apply for the sale of property within the first 12 months after the laws commence.
  • If a landlord believes they would be caused undue hardship because they are not able to increase rent within 12 months of the last rent increase, the landlord can make an application to QCAT for an order. QCAT can make an order to increase rent by a stated amount. 

    Confidentiality for tenants at risk 

    • The confidentiality requirements under the domestic and family violence provisions will be expanded. 

    New ‘head of power’ provisions 

    • New ‘head of power’ provisions will allow the Government to create a regulation in future to establish a portable bond scheme, code of conduct and a process for allowing modifications in residential tenancies for accessibility, safety and security. 

    If you have any questions regarding the new tenancy laws, please do not hesitate to contact the Matthews Real Estate property management team and we will be more than happy to assist you.  

    In the coming weeks our entire team will be educating ourselves regarding these new laws to ensure that we can continue to provide the best possible service possible and support our clients through these changes.

    Following the links below for further information regarding the new tenancy laws.




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