× Overview of the 2024 Tenancy Law Changes – What you need to know

Tenancy Law Reform Bill tabled – good start, more to do

Tenants Queensland (TQ) welcomes the Miles Government’s package of reforms that will improve the experiences of renters, with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024

TQ CEO, Ms Penny Carr, said, “banning rent bidding, requiring a fee free way of paying rent, limiting what can be asked when signing up applying for a tenancy and controlling how and for how long information can be kept, will very much improve the experiences of renters across the state. We welcome these changes”.

Requiring evidence when the landlord wants to claim against the bond, the portable bond scheme and a rental code of conduct are changes also strongly supported by TQ. 

Despite welcoming the package TQ CEO, Ms Penny Carr, stated that there is more to be done. “The package is a good start but more needs to be done to support struggling renters”.

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Tenancy reforms announced

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Tenants Queensland and QCOSS have jointly welcomed the package of tenancy reforms announced today by Premier Steven Miles as a promising first step towards improving the lives of Queenslanders living with rental insecurity.

The package is a positive sign that the Miles Government has listened to the pleas of Queensland’s renters and that it will continue to take seriously the plight of those burdened with insecure tenancies amid a cost-of-living crisis.

Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr says:
“Following three years of campaigning by Make Renting Fair in Queensland supporters, we particularly applaud the introduction of the following measures that will make a real difference in the lives of Queensland renters:

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Queensland’s ageing population struggling to pay rent in regional areas – Media Release

Increasing numbers of elderly renters in regional areas are struggling to pay their rent particularly in areas around Bundaberg, Gympie, Moreton Bay and the Fraser Coast, according to the latest release of the Rental Vulnerability Index (RVI).

Tenants Queensland and City Futures Research Centre have released the Rental Vulnerability Index (RVI), as an indicator of rental vulnerability relative to social and economic pressures affecting Queensland renters.

This release highlights the availability of rental housing that is affordable on local incomes, social housing and marginal tenures such as boarding houses, as well as personal indicators including unemployment, low education, disability, single-parent households and both young and elderly renters.

The RVI identifies clusters of indicators to identify regions of ‘rental vulnerability’.

Updated figures released today incorporating the 2016 census data show areas of Somerset, Gladstone and Mackay making it into Queensland’s top 10 local government areas for rental vulnerability.

The data also shows that over the last five years, the proportion of older renters (over 65) has generally increased, with the highest proportions located in the regions.

Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr said some of the movement in rankings related to small fluctuations in populations and several postcode boundary changes.

She said the data highlighted that regional and remote parts of Queensland continue to indicate areas of highest rental vulnerability.

“This index is a timely reminder at the beginning of a new year that the elderly and low-income families in regional areas are struggling to pay their rent,” said Ms Carr who runs Queensland’s peak statewide tenant advisory service.

“The data is telling us that regional areas have a pressing need for services – such as tenant advice services – that give vulnerable households material assistance in dealing with housing problems.

“These places have high rates of unemployment, disability, low education and older people in rental housing.

“They also have high incidence of rental stress – even though median rents are low compared to Brisbane.”

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Moves for rental properties to meet new minimum standards welcomed

Tenants Queensland (TQ) has welcomed the Palaszczuk government’s new laws designed to introduce minimum standards in rental properties and provide greater consumer protections for manufactured homes owner-occupiers.

TQ CEO Penny Carr said that introducing a head of power to regulate minimum standards in rental properties was a very positive step forward.

“Minimum standards in rental properties are particularly important when you consider that half of the renting households are families with children,” Ms Carr said.

“The legislation will also address the very poor quality of some rental accommodation in the state.

“Minimum standards are good for tenants who often fear asking for repairs and maintenance.

“Equally, they’re good for real estate agents and industry, particularly when dealing with unscrupulous lessors. Those lessors with properties which meet community standards have nothing to be concerned about.”

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Tenants Queensland welcomes continued funding for the QSTARS program!

Queensland’s renting households will maintain access to free tenancy advice.  Today Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Sport, the Hon Mick de Brenni, pledged $37.597 million for five years from June 2018 for the Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS).

QSTARS has helped tens of thousands of Queensland renting households since the program commenced on 1 October 2015 but until today the future of the program was unclear with the current contract ending in June 2018.

As managers and deliverers of the program, Tenants Queensland welcomes the announcement saying it will provide comfort to half a million renters throughout Queensland to know that the growing service would continue.

“Renters in all regions of the state contact QSTARS for advice and support to meet their tenancy responsibilities and exercise their rights,” said TQ CEO Ms Carr.

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We launched the first ever Rental Vulnerability Index!

Check out the rental vulnerability where you live!  

Today Housing Minister Mick de Brenni helped Tenants Queensland launch the first ever Rental Vulnerability Index (RVI), a tool which allows you to see how many vulnerable renters there are in any postcode area in Queensland.

The RVI is more than just a measure of affordability; it is a look into who lives in the local rental housing and what sort of other vulnerabilities they might experience. It combines 13 data sources, each of which individually expose a potential to experience a housing problem, into one measure of overall rental vulnerability.

Using the interactive map, you can identify not just the RVI for each Queensland postcode area, you can also see the statistics on each of those 13 indicators.

This RVI has been developed as primarily as a service planning tool for tenant advisory services – to ensure that need for services align with demand and if not to reach out to the most vulnerable tenants. However, it will have applicability for a much broader range of service providers, policy maker and planners.

Check out your postcode!