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More effective changes to limit the frequency of rent increases?

The Queensland Government is consulting about changes to the frequency of rent increases to ensure recent changes are effective.

On July 1, the government limited the frequency of rent increases to once per year. However, the last few months have seen the emergence of rental management practices which appear to undermine the intent of the legislation, for example, ending tenancies after six months so that the rent can be increased with new tenants.

Today the government issued a discussion paper and is calling for submission on how to ensure the annual rent increase frequency limit is effective.

The discussion paper proposes changes that would apply the limit to the frequency of rent increases to the property, rather than the tenancy, regardless of whether the sitting tenants remain, or the property is re-tenanted.

Tenants Queensland (TQ) will review the paper in greater detail soon. Our initial response is to support the proposals. However, we will also call for a limit on the amount that rent can be increased – an annual increase of no more than the Consumer Price Index – and an end to terminations due to the ‘end of a fixed term’. These things in combination will smooth out rent increases for tenants (whilst maintaining returns to investors) and stabilise their tenancies.

Submissions are due 5pm, August 11, 2023. Read more about the government’s process here.