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

New Queensland Tenancy Laws Passed

New tenancy laws were passed on 14 October in the Queensland Parliament. 

Changes include:

  • the reasons tenancies can be ended,
  • the introduction of minimum housing standards 
  • renting with pets; and
  • increased protections for people experiencing domestic and family violence

To find out more detail go to the overview on the Make Renting Fair website.

Happy International Tenants Day

Happy International Tenants Day – that’s today – the first Monday in October! 

The International Union of Tenants (IUT) based in Sweden announced this year’s ITD theme as ‘Covid recovery, climate, and construction’. The IUT is calling for Security of Tenure, Rent Stabilisation and Rent Controls. “The focus should be on the needs of citizens for more affordable housing rather than letting short term speculative practices dominate the property market”.  See their YouTube video here.  

You might also want to check out how you can support improvements to Queensland tenancy laws by heading to the Make Renting Fair website or joining the Make Renting Fair in Qld online Rally on Thursday on Facebook.

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Disappointment in Government’s tenancy law reform process

Tenants Queensland is utterly disappointed with the report from the parliamentary committee on tenancy law changes, released on 16 August. The parliamentary committee has made the following recommendations about the government’s bill:

Recommendation 1 – The committee recommends the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 be passed.

Recommendation 2 – The committee recommends that the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy develop a framework for data collection about how residential tenancies are managed and ended.

The committee supports the removal of ‘without grounds’ as an approved termination reason for lessors and the introduction of additional approved grounds. The committee believes that this will be an important step towards providing more certainty, transparency and accountability for all parties in the rental sector.

The committee acknowledges calls for the removal of ‘end of tenancy’ as an approved ground for agreement termination by organisations such as Tenants Queensland and the Queensland Human Rights Commission. The committee also acknowledges views that the removal of ‘without grounds’ for periodic agreements will result in a number of unintended consequences, including the creation of in perpetuity leases. On balance, the committee believes that amendments around managing and ending of tenancies achieve an appropriate balance between the rights of renters and lessors. That said, the committee believes that it will be important for the department to maintain a close watching brief on the impacts, intended and otherwise.

The committee also noted the evidence from the Queensland Law Society which called for the government to consider ways to incentivise the agreement of longer term leases at the outset of any contract through education and awareness.

Recommendation 3 – The committee recommends that the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy work with community housing providers to ensure head leasing contractual practices align with the amendments in the Bill.

The committee acknowledges the important and specialist services provided by community housing organisations to support vulnerable people access and sustain housing. The committee recommends that the department work with community housing providers to ensure head leasing contractual practices align with the amendments in the Bill.

Recommendation 4 – The committee recommends that the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy closely monitor and evaluate, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, implementation of the minimum housing standards reforms, to inform consideration of whether stronger compliance mechanisms are required.

The committee supports the proposed amendments which will provide for the introduction of prescribed minimum housing standards which will require all Queensland rental accommodation to meet minimum safety, security and functionality standards. As with amendments relating to ending and managing tenancy agreements, the committee is of the view that the department will need to closely monitor and evaluate the implementation of these reforms. This will be important to inform consideration as to whether stronger compliance mechanisms are needed going forward.

Recommendation 5 – The committee recommends that the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy ensure that accessible advice is provided to eligible retirement villages to ensure that they can navigate the exemption process efficiently and effectively.

The committee supports the proposed amendments to the Retirement Villages Act and notes the broad support from inquiry participants for them. The committee notes that should the Bill be passed, the department will contact individual villages which may be eligible for the exemption. The committee recommends that the department ensure that the necessary accessible advice is provided to eligible villages to ensure that they can navigate the exemption process efficiently and effectively.

Minor Modifications

The committee acknowledges the numerous calls for legislation that would enable renters to make minor modifications to their homes and the impact that such modifications can have on the wellbeing and safety of tenants. The committee also acknowledges that the national regulatory environment is complex and evolving and that this matter will be addressed in future reform stages. The committee encourages the department to ensure that the views of this inquiry’s stakeholders are taken into consideration in the development of minor modification proposals.

The committee has also recommended that the Queensland Green’s Private Members Bill not be passed. There is a dissenting report from the member for Maiwar, Michael Berkman, available on that link, commencing after page 51.

Whilst TQ considers the government included positive aspects, it is disappointing to see the committee recommend the continuation of notices to leave without fair grounds, albeit newly named ‘end of a fixed term’.  We do not consider that is adequate protection for the growing number of Queenslanders, many with dependent children, who are long term renters.  We will continue to campaign for changes until the passage of the legislation.  We will also provide more information as we have time to read these reports in detail.
Tell your state MP it’s not good enough – it’s take only 60 seconds using this link.

Lockdown Impacts on Tenants

COVID-19 Lockdowns may impact tenants in several ways, as outlined below. Tenancy law still applies during lockdown, however all parties must follow the public health orders (link below).
Emergency Repairs: contact the nominated tradesperson on your tenancy agreement and send an email to your real estate agent/lessor.
Inspections: can take place only by private appointment. Contact details must be collected; physical distancing must be practiced, and masks must be worn (unless there is a medical exemption or it is unsafe to do so).
Moving In: if the real estate agent office is closed, send an email and request a call back.
Moving Out: It is the tenant’s responsibility to do an exit condition report and send this to the agent/lessor. If the real estate agent office is closed, send an email asking for instructions about returning the keys.

State Budget a ‘mixed bag’ for Queensland renters


15 June 2021

Queensland’s tenancy experts describe State Budget a ‘mixed bag’ for Queensland renters.

While the increased investment in social housing in today’s Queensland State Budget is a step in the right direction, Queensland renters continue to be forgotten as the state battles through a housing crisis.

Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic, Tenants Queensland, the state’s specialist tenancy service, has seen a significant increase in demand for advice and assistance from Queensland renters experiencing housing stresses.

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Tenancy Reforms Still Needed Urgently


Tenants Queensland CEO, Penny Carr, has congratulated the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, on a returned Labor Government and is now calling on the re-elected government to act quickly on the long, drawn-out reform of rental legislation in Queensland.

“I look forward to working with the Premier and her team in delivering on reforms around tenancy laws to ensure the needs of Queenslanders are met now and into the future, but we do need to see this happen urgently,” said Ms Carr.

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Tenants Queensland concerned struggling renters may face eviction before Christmas

Media Release

16 September 2020

Tenants Queensland (TQ) is very disappointed with the Queensland Government’s decision today to retain the end date for the moratorium on residential evictions whilst at the same time deciding to extend it for commercial tenancies. The decision comes despite most other states extending eviction protection for renters.

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, demand for the state’s tenant advisory services has increased drastically, particularly from tenants fearing eviction after losing their jobs or having their income reduced as a result of COVID-19.

With the end of the moratorium now set to remain as September 29, TQ CEO Penny Carr said that many tenants will be very concerned about eviction in the lead-up to Christmas.

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Members of Queensland’s Housing Security Subcommittee criticized government decision on moratorium

16 September 2020

Joint News release

Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Q Shelter and Tenants Queensland, three of the five members of the Queensland government’s COVID-19 Housing Security Subcommittee, have criticized the decision not to extend the residential tenancy eviction moratorium.

In a joint statement from QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh, QShelter CEO Fiona Caniglia and Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr:

“We are deeply disappointed in the decision by the Queensland government to not extend the moratorium.

“This decision flies in the face of the advice provided to government from the majority of the Minister’s Housing Security Subcommittee – our three organisations all recommended that the moratorium be extended to 31 December 2020.

“This will only serve to make the housing arrangements of Queensland families much more insecure.

“The Queensland government have decided to go it alone in not extending the moratorium – Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria have all committed to extending their moratoriums to March 2021, and Tasmania has extended theirs to December 2020.”


Calls for three-month extension of the moratorium on evictions

Use our online template to send an email.   For extra impact, add details of your personal experience and why you believe the extension is needed.

We urge all of our supporters to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard and contact our Housing Minister, Mick de Brenni, and Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, asking them to extend the moratorium.

As we move into September, we inch closer to the end date for Queensland’s moratorium on evictions. Designed to protect those Queenslanders who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, we don’t believe now is the appropriate time to end the moratorium.

By continuing the moratorium to 31 December, our most vulnerable tenants will be protected from the mental, financial and physical stresses a premature eviction would cause.

Media Release   2 September 2020

Tenants Queensland calls for three-month extension of the moratorium on evictions

Queensland’s peak tenant advisory group is calling on the Queensland Government to extend a ban on evictions, fearing a surge in homelessness once the September deadline ends.

Tenants Queensland (TQ) CEO Penny Carr said a ban on evictions was necessary at least until the end of the year with a preferred tapering of protections extended into 2021 for those affected by COVID-related hardship.

“Increasingly Queensland renters have been contacting our service expressing concerns about potential homelessness and anxiety for the debt they have accrued while renting during the pandemic,” said Ms Carr.

“Many are desperately worried they will lose their homes due to unresolved negotiations on rent reductions and because they cannot rely on the goodwill of their landlord.

“With no end in sight to the pandemic, we believe it is premature of the Government to end the evictions moratorium with unemployment still so high and incomes reduced.”

From 30 September, landlords will be able to go to court to evict tenants, prompting fears from TQ and social services groups that there could be a rush in cases.

Other changes to come into effect include:

  • Rent will increase with a return to the ‘starting rent’ i.e. if a renter has been paying less rent under a variation agreement or unresolved dispute, the renter is required to return to the contracted rent;
  • Income is likely to drop due to changes to the rates of coronavirus supplement and JobKeeper payment; and
  • Rents owed during the ‘protected period’ will become due.

TQ’s proposals post 31 December include; exemption from tenancy database listings if the dispute arises during the three-month extension period and a blanket ban on evictions for rent arrears and disputes which also occur during the protection period until the case is resolved through mutual agreement, the RTA or QCAT.

“The current exit from the COVID tenancy protections for affected renters will be harsh and will result in a significant number of renters facing eviction,” she said.

“We believe a softer exit will be fairer in order to maximise opportunities for renters to remain housed beyond the end of the evictions moratorium.”