All you need to know about stage 2 rental reforms in Queensland

The Queensland Government has begun stage 2 of its rental reform platform. This is off the back of stage 1, the majority of which came into effect in October 2022. As part of this process, the Queensland Government is seeking feedback from renters, property owners, and property managers.

To help you better understand what is happening in stage 2, we have created this handy guide to sum up the policy. But first, let’s recap exactly what changed in stage 1.

A recap on stage 1

The changes in stage 1 were a combination of making COVID policies permanent and introducing new changes. The first change was enshrining rules surrounding domestic and family violence into permanent law. This allows people experiencing domestic and family violence to break their lease without the usual requirements and financial obligations.

The next changes were regarding pets and grounds of terminations. Blanket bans on pets were lifted, with owners having to provide a valid reason why tenants should not have a pet. These reasons were provided in the legislation.

No-ground evictions were eliminated and replaced with 2 new grounds for eviction. These included ending a fixed-term agreement or the owner choosing to live in or sell the property.

Finally, minimum housing standards were created. These require all rental properties to meet certain standards before being rented to a tenant. The minimum housing standards include:

  • The property needs to be waterproof.
  • Locks on doors and windows need to work.
  • Windows need to have some form of coverage on them.
  • If there are kitchen and laundry facilities, they need to work.

What is changing in stage 2?

Stage 2 is far more extensive than stage 1. There are 5 new changes being made. According to the Queensland Government, these changes include:

  • Installing modifications – Make it easier for renters to install the safety, security and accessibility modifications they need
  • Making minor personalisation changes – Help parties negotiate about making minor personalisation changes to rental properties
  • Balancing privacy and access – Better balance renters’ rights to privacy with owners’ need for information to inform their investment decisions
  • Improving the rental bond process – Ensure rental bond settings provide appropriate security and parties are transparent and accountable for their bond claims
  • Fairer fees and charges – Ensure rent payment, utility and reletting fees and charges are fair and reasonable.

Each change is substantial, with the Queensland Government presenting three different policies for each change. These three policies are at different levels, from small tweaks to the existing rules, to larger tweaks. You can read each policy option in more detail at the feedback website here.

How to provide feedback

All the changes proposed for stage 2 of the rental reform are not yet set in stone. First, the Queensland Government is seeking feedback from renters, property owners, and property managers on the legislation. This allows the government to find a middle ground that supports the needs of tenants and property owners.

When giving feedback you will be asked whether the options help address identified problems. You will also be asked how they will impact you, any consequences they may have, and any other options you would consider. The best way to ensure these changes are fair to everyone is to get involved and provide feedback. If you are a renter or property owner head over to the feedback website here, and provide your input.

Conclusion

Changes in rental policies are significant. Over one third of Queenslanders are renters. At the same time, there are more property investors than ever before. It is important to find a middle ground to ensure a harmonious relationship.

If you have any questions about stage 2 rental reforms feel free to get in touch with us.  

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