Rental legislation changes

The Queensland Government is committed to a better renting future for Queenslanders.

Strengthening renters’ rights and stabilising rents

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024 (Amendment Act) received Assent  on 6 June 2024.

The Amendment Act strengthens renters’ rights and stabilises rents by:

  • applying the rent increase frequency limit to the property
  • banning all forms of rent bidding
  • protecting renters’ privacy by requiring 48 hours’ notice for entries other than general inspections, safety checks and in emergencies
  • developing a prescribed form for rental applications and requiring that personal information be stored and destroyed securely
  • limiting re-letting costs based on the time remaining on a fixed-term lease
  • requiring property owners or their agents to pass on utility bills promptly and disclose financial benefits they receive from any rent payment methods they offer
  • giving renters a fee-free option to pay rent and choice about how to apply for a rental property
  • capping all rental bonds and requiring that claims against rental bonds be substantiated.

The Amendment Act also allows the department to start developing (in consultation with the rental sector):

  • a portable bond scheme
  • a Rental Sector Code of Conduct
  • a framework for parties to agree on installing modifications necessary for safety, security or accessibility in rental properties.

Read more about current rental law reforms.

Stabilising rents

From 1 July 2023, Queensland’s rental laws limit the frequency of rent increases to once every 12 months for all new and existing tenancies.

The Queensland Government took this action to help stabilise rents in the residential rental market in response to rental affordability and cost-of-living pressures.

This limit applies for the duration of a tenancy and if at least 1 renter remains in the same rental property when a new agreement is made.

Safety, security and certainty (Stage 1) rental law reform

In 2022, the Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (HLA Act) amended the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 to progress Stage 1 of Queensland’s rental law reform.

The amendments delivered rental law reforms to improve safety, security and certainty for the Queensland rental market by:

  • ending ‘without-grounds evictions’ and providing more certainty about how and when a tenancy can end
  • strengthening protections for renters against retaliatory actions, such as eviction and rent increases, if they try to enforce their rights
  • setting minimum housing standards to ensure rental properties in Queensland are safe, secure and functional
  • making it easier for renters to have a pet
  • giving renters experiencing domestic and family violence the right to end their interest in a tenancy with limited liability for end-of-lease costs.

Most of these reforms have commenced, including Minimum Housing Standards for new leases entered into from 1 September 2023.

Minimum Housing Standards will apply for all tenancies from 1 September 2024. This longer transition period for Minimum Housing Standards supports rental property owners to plan and budget for any work required for their rental property to comply with the new legislation.

What changed

Minimum Housing Standards

Minimum Housing Standards apply to new leases entered into from 1 September 2023.

Renters can have confidence their rental property is safe, secure and functional through prescribed Minimum Housing Standards which require:

  • the premises to be weatherproof and structurally sound
  • fixtures and fittings to be in good repair and not likely to cause injury to a person
  • locks on windows and doors
  • the premises to be free of vermin, damp and mould
  • privacy coverings
  • adequate plumbing and drainage
  • functioning kitchen and laundry facilities (where supplied).

Minimum Housing Standards will apply to all tenancies from 1 September 2024.

Visit the RTA website for more information about Minimum Housing Standards.

From 1 October 2022

Strengthened repair and maintenance obligations commenced from 1 October 2022 to support the staggered introduction of Minimum Housing Standards from 1 September 2023.

Tenants (residential tenancies) have 7 days to complete and return the entry condition report and tenants and property managers can authorise emergency repairs up to the equivalent of 4 weeks rent.

Domestic and family violence protections

From 20 October 2021

The temporary regulatory measures that were introduced under the COVID-19 residential tenancies response for domestic and family violence became permanent.

Renters experiencing domestic and family violence:

  • can leave immediately (after giving 7 days notice) and access any bond contribution they made
  • are not liable for property damage caused by domestic and family violence
  • are not liable for costs relating to reletting the premises
  • any remaining co-renters can be asked to top-up the bond by the property owner or manager
  • can change the locks to the property without requiring the owner’s consent to ensure their safety
  • must provide documentation to support their claim and property owners, managers and their employees must not disclose this information (except where permitted) and may be subject to penalties if they do so.
Ending tenancies fairly

From 1 October 2022

Changes under the ending tenancies fairly reforms include:

  • removal of ‘without grounds’ as a reason to end a tenancy
  • new grounds for property owners to end tenancies, including the end of a fixed-term agreement, need to undertake significant repair or renovation, change of use or sale or preparation for sale of the rental property requires vacant possession
  • new grounds for renters to end tenancies, including the property is not in good repair, or does not comply with the Minimum Housing Standards.

Renters can continue to end an agreement ‘without grounds’ and 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 the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to terminate the tenancy for significant or serious breach of the 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.

Renting with pets

From 1 October 2022

Changes making it easier for renters to have a pet include:

  • a renter can seek the property owner’s permission to keep a pet, and property owners can only refuse a request on identified reasonable grounds, such as keeping the pet would breach laws or by-laws
  • the property owner must respond to a request for a pet in writing within 14 days, or consent is implied
  • the property owner’s consent may be subject to reasonable conditions such as the pet has to be kept outside. A rent increase or a pet bond are not reasonable conditions.

Read more about how we got here.

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