1 October 2022 tenancy law changes – What you need to know

Recent changes will impact your tenancy agreements from 1 October 2022 under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (‘the Act’). Here is a quick snapshot of the key changes.

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Monday 3 October 2022 is International Tenants’ Day (ITD). International Tenants’ Day has been celebrated annually on the first Monday in October since 1986 as a day to promote and raise awareness of tenants’ rights across the world.

Tenants Queensland invites all tenants across Queensland to participate in our competition. Share with us and tell us with your entry why it is so important for you to “CONNECT TO HOME”

This can be done with a photo, a poem, a painting or drawing.

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On 24 May 2022, a law to secure the rental bonds of Queensland tenants passed Parliament which makes the Residential Tenancies Authority self-funding model no longer. Following on from our submission to the committee, we wrote to the Treasurer on 12 May 2022 to seek changes, but we were unsuccessful.

You can read the full media statement here.  

As the election nears, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) have asked organizations to sign on to two joint letters from the community sector to Federal Election candidates calling on them to commit to two game-changer policies to reduce poverty and inequality.

 These policies are:

  • Lift income support payments to above the poverty line so everyone can cover the basics
  • Invest in 25,000 social housing units each year as part of a National Housing Plan.

Tenants Queensland have joined with the many organisations to be a signatory to the two letters.

One to independent and minor party candidates asking them to make these policies part of negotiations to form government should there be a hung parliament. The same letter will go to all other candidates (without reference to negotiating to form government).

You can access a copy of the letter with the full list of signatories here. 

On March 17 2022, changes to how the RTA manages bond money and the interest it earns on it were tabled in parliament as part of the State Penalties Enforcement (Modernisation) Amendment Bill 2022.

In response, we have made a submission to the Economics and Governance Committee stating that we strongly oppose the proposed amendments to the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. The proposed amendments will result in undermining a legacy that should be provided to tenants, they remove the autonomy of the industry regulator and a self-funded model which makes financial sense. As a result of this submission, we have been asked to appear as a witness at the Public Hearing of the Bill on Tuesday 19 April 2022.

You can read the full submission here

On March 17, 2022 changes to how the RTA manages bond money and the interest it earns on it were tabled in parliament. This was a surprise to us – we were neither aware nor consulted on them. The changes were tucked away on page 7-13 of this omnibus bill.  We will review the proposals over coming days and seek further information.

Key concerns for us are – ensuring we can continue to track what happens to the significant interest, resources and investments generated over many years from tenants’ bonds and that tenants continue to benefit directly from it. Our organisation formed around the centralised collection of tenants’ bonds. This successful campaign has meant the RTA has been able to provide free services to the entire rental sector – lessors, agents and tenants. There was also an agreed principle that tenants would benefit collectively from specialist services through individual tenants giving up the interest on their own money. Remember, bonds are tenants’ money held in trust until the end of a tenancy!  These are significant changes which seem to greatly reduce the autonomy of the RTA.  We’ll come back to you when we understand more.

One of our regional offices recently supported a tenant who had vacated their property two months early due to the real estate agent increasing the rent. Originally the agent sought ‘break lease’ costs (one week’s rent plus GST, advertising fees, rent until new tenants entered the property), cleaning fees, repairs and the cost of painting the walls. This all added up to the bond plus another $800. During conciliation, the agent dropped their claim for painting, claiming the bond in full, and leaving the matter to proceed to the Tribunal for decision. [click to continue…]

***Public Health Directives can change frequently and at short notice***
The information provided here gives general guidance around how COVID-19 continues to impact on Queensland tenants.

Click below for the latest information.
Covid Update 4 Jan 2022

If you are being inundated with water or suffering damage from storms or cyclones, your tenancy may be affected.  THIS FACT SHEET is for residential tenancies, however most of this information also applies to rooming accommodation such as boarding houses.

Rent Decrease due to flooding

If you wish to request a rent decrease with your lessor due to flooding, here for a draft letter that you can use.  Please click here for a Word version (you may need to check your downloads folder) or click here for a PDF version. 

Dealing with Mould

Tenants Queensland have produced a Mould fact sheet for renters: please click here
Qld Department of Health have produced a fact sheet: please click here

COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE SERVICES – Click here for information and lists of services and recovery support

If you are a private renter experiencing financial hardship, our confidential and free financial counselling service may be able to help you. This free service includes assistance with any matter in relation to debt such as:

  • Rent arrears (overdue or outstanding rent) – current or previous properties
  • Utility debt in current or previous properties – electricity, gas, phone, water
  • Credit – such as loans, credit cards and consumer leases
  • Fines – at any stage
  • Complaints about your utility or credit provider

We can also assist with:

  • Analysing your current financial situation
  • Budgeting
  • Managing your debt
  • Referring you to other services that may be able to help you
  • Advice and information on credit and bankruptcy

If you would like to know more, contact us:

  • By phone on 1300 744 263, 9:00am to 5:00pm weekdays
  • By email to: financialcounsellor@tenantsqld.org.au

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