As part of a three-stage overhaul of tenancy laws in Queensland, rules around keeping pets, ending tenancies and property repair and maintenance are changing.
The changes are designed to bring greater safety, security and certainty to the Queensland rental market. They are focused on striking the right balance between the interests of renters and rental property owners.
Renting with pets
- These changes are designed to make it easier for tenants to keep a pet.
- A renter can seek the property owner’s permission to keep a pet.
- Property owners can only refuse a request on identified reasonable grounds, for instance, if keeping the pet would breach laws or by-laws.
- Property owners must respond to any such request in writing, within 14 days, or consent is implied.
- The property owner’s consent may be subject to reasonable conditions, for instance, the pet has to be kept outside. A rent increase or pet bond are not considered reasonable conditions.
Ending tenancies fairly
These amendments are focused on giving renters greater flexibility and security in their tenancies.
- Removal of ‘without grounds’ as a reason for a property owner to end a tenancy.
- New grounds for property owners to end tenancies. These include end of a fixed-term agreement, need to undertake significant repair or renovation, change of use, or sale/preparation for sale of the rental property requiring vacant possession.
- New grounds for renters to end tenancies. These include the property not being in good repair, or not complying with the Minimum Housing Standards.
Renters can continue to end an agreement ‘without grounds’. Both renters and property owners must provide appropriate notice for the ground (reason) they are using to end the agreement.
Property owners can seek an order from Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to terminate the tenancy for significant or serious breach of lease by a tenant.
Renters can apply to QCAT for an order to set a ‘notice to leave’ aside, if they believe it has been issued in retaliation for them enforcing their rights.
Minimum Housing Standards
This is designed to strengthen property owners’ obligations to repair and maintain their property to minimum standards.
Specific amendments will start from October 1 this year, as part of a broader, staggered introduction of Minimum Housing Standards from September 1, 2023.
- Tenants (residential tenancies) will have seven days to complete and return the entry condition report.
- Tenants and property managers can authorise emergency repairs up to the equivalent of four weeks’ rent.
The latest changes are the second stage of a three-phase overhaul of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 , as laid out in the Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021.
Phase 1 introduced a range of domestic and family violence protections, as of October 20, 2021. In phase 3, Minimum Housing Standards will apply to new leases from September 1, 2023, and all tenancies from September 1, 2024.
For more information download the Queensland Government’s information sheet how does a tenant get approval for a pet?
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