× IMPORTANT information for tenants during COVID-19 pandemic - click here.

Media Statements

JOINT STATEMENT

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad

Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Special COVID-19 Protections for residential tenants and owners

The Palaszczuk Government has unveiled a package of measures to implement the freeze on evictions.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is encouraging tenants, property owners and agents to work together to sustain tenancies during this public health emergency.

“We’ve all heard of stories of too many Queenslanders who are doing it tough right now, and the Palaszczuk Government recognises the hardship they are suffering.

“It’s not in the interest of anyone to have tenants left without a place to go when we are fighting to prevent the spread of a deadly disease.

“We will not allow anyone to be evicted because they can’t pay their rent as a result of this crisis.” [click to continue…]


Unless the federal and or state government take action to prevent the accrual of rent arrears over the coming months, the evictions moratorium will simply end for renters in deferred evictions, on-going debt and tarnished reputations during the recovery stage.  Rent reductions, where the rent due is reduced, rather than rent deferral, must be the aim.

National Cabinet turned out to be a lost opportunity. Many of the principles outlined by the Prime Minister in the mandatory code of conduct for commercial rents could have been applied to residential tenancies. National Cabinet could have pushed lenders to play their part and required broad relief from residential mortgage costs, and in particular capitalization of interest, removing a key barrier to rent reductions for tenants.  Despite this, most landlords will have access to mortgage relief on the basis of economic hardship.

The issue of residential tenancies has now been left for the state government.

Reducing costs

How can we hibernate and suppress (to use the PM’s speak) the costs of rent and mortgage and keep as much money flowing around the economy as possible, rather than using income support payments to service debts and loans? [click to continue…]


We know from yesterday’s announcement that changes to tenancy laws will be made in the next couple of weeks. We’ve been doing a bit of work behind the scenes to work out how we can protect renters from negative impacts of COVID-19. As a community, we’re all going to have to work together, with the impacts shared amongst all the players, renters and landlords alike.  

The issue prominent in the media has been protecting all renters (including residents of boarding housing and caravan parks) from forced evictions and homelessness. This has to be a key focus during what is a public health crisis, and needs to go beyond evictions due to economic hardship. However, we’ve also been lobbying governments to:

  • ensure that rents are reduced not just deferred, renters shouldn’t end up with crippling debts when we reach recovery. That would just lead to evictions and homelessness down the track. 
  • develop a reduced rent model which is affordable and used to determine unresolved rent reduction disputes
  • protect everyone from avoidable entries, and set out reciprocal questions when an entry can’t be avoided e.g. for repairs, to keep everyone safe and healthy
  • extend entry time frames from 24 hours’ notice to 48 hours so that any arising issue can be managed prior.
  • limit the amount of personal information a renter can be asked when seeking a rent reduction (we’ve seen some very intrusive forms!)

We agree there needs to be limited exceptions to the eviction moratorium, around issues of damage and injury, while still ensuring that no one is evicted into homelessness.

It’s a shame that the Prime Minister didn’t see fit to set out the rules for residential rent reductions like he did for commercial tenancies. We think costs need to be pushed downwards for both tenants and landlords. the more that landlords’ overheads are reduced, the better position they’re in to reduce rents. Those things are in the control of the federal government. 

We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything more from the state government on changes to tenancy laws. 


Anxiety about COVID-19 is rising throughout our community and renters are feeling increasingly vulnerable to its impacts. We’re all worried about our loved ones, our society, our health, safety and immediate security.

To protect our communities during the COVID-19 crisis, Tenants Queensland has been working with a coalition of around 100 other organisations. Together we’ve been pushing for a ban (moratorium) on evictions, and over the last two weeks, thousands of Queenslanders sent emails to MPs and signed petitions. We then delivered our #NoEvictionsCovid19 petition to the Prime Minister with more than 10,000 signatures

Last weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced ‘a six-month moratorium on evictions’.

In the evening of April 1 Queensland’s Deputy Premier said that (see at 16.25):

  • As per the Prime Minister’s announcement every jurisdiction in Australia will prevent evictions of people who cannot make rent because they’ve lost their job due to Corona Virus or the impacts either directly or indirectly of Corona Virus.
  • Prevention of these evictions in Queensland will be backdated to the day the PM announced this at National Cabinet, March 29.
  • A grants system has been established for people in the private rental market who lost their job, who won’t get Centrelink support until at least April 27 and who can’t make rent. The Qld government will provide up to $500 per week for four weeks (and paid to the landlord) to help you with your rent payment while waiting for income support.  Information can be found here  You can call 13 426 843 for further information.
  • The Qld government understands that the prohibition on eviction is for tenants who genuinely lost their jobs as a result of Corona Virus. For the things that we ordinarily see tenancies ended for – if tenants significantly damage the property or if the landlord needs to move in because of financial distress – these will still occur. This is not a blanket prohibition. There is a balanced, common sense approach here.

Tenants Queensland is currently talking to the State government to help shape these temporary reforms and will update you as soon as we know anything further. We think the reforms need to go further. [click to continue…]


Following Friday’s National Cabinet and the Prime Minister’s press conference, there’s still no concrete information regarding support for renters. Our best guess is we’ll hear details this weekend (or early next week) about supports for both residential and retail tenancies.

In talking about retail tenancies, the PM said:

“We don’t want businesses so saddled by debts, by rental payments, by other payments that they won’t come through the other side. Landlords will suffer, banks will have to make arrangements with them. Councils may be involved with providing waivers on rates. Land tax relieved for landlords with tenants in a distressed situation. Our intent is to ensure that businesses that through no fault of their own, and an Australian who has lost a job through no fault of their own, is that we support them in the best possible way we can because they’re Australians and it’s the right thing to do. And we want them to surge again, rise again on the other side of this.”
[click to continue…]


Protect our communities: no evictions in a health crisis

Along with 70 other organisations and researchers, the Tenants Queensland is calling for Commonwealth, State and Territory governments across Australia to put an immediate stop on evictions during COVID19.

We need to give everyone the breathing space to work out how we will manage this community crisis. We need to share the costs now and during the recovery afterwards.

Things are moving quickly. Please show your support and sign the petiton – which has already gained over 500 signatures in the hours since it was launched.

SIGN THE PETITION

No-one should lose their home during this crisis

The COVID19 pandemic is causing massive human and economic harm. Many workers, especially contractors and casual workers, will suffer from lost incomes. Many will fall into rent arrears and be at risk of eviction. People facing eviction are less able to take actions required to minimise transmission of COVID19, particularly where they become homeless, and will become more vulnerable to illness.

An eviction at this time puts great pressure on families and communities in overcrowded homes, crisis accommodation and people sleeping rough.

 Take action now

We’re asking you to take immediate action to protect our communities and help us stop evictions. Please sign the petition and share it on social media using the hastags #Covid2019Au #NoEvictionsCOVID19

SIGN THE PETITION       SHARE THE PETITION

INFORMATION FOR TENANTS AFFECTED BY COVID-19

COVID19 and renting – what tenants need to know.  You can access a copy of the Tenants Queensland fact sheet by clicking here


cyclone

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.

For further information for tenants, please click here.


If you are being affected by the current bushfire emergency, 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.

For further information for tenants Click this link


Just because you’re renting, doesn’t mean you can’t access the benefits of solar power in your home.

The Queensland Government’s Solar for rentals trial is offering tenants in the Bundaberg, Gladstone and Townsville local government areas easy access to solar at no upfront costs.

This unique opportunity will enable around 1,000 tenants and lessors to share the value of installing a solar PV system.  You and your lessor both need to agree to be part of the trial and sign a new lease of at least 12 months with a fair rent increase. In return, you could save up to $300 a year by either using the solar power in your home or selling it back to the electricity grid. You can use the online calculator to see it might benefit you.

Houses, townhouses or duplexes currently rented for $350 or less per week are eligible.

To find out more about the trial and to use the solar for rentals calculator to see how you could benefit, visit www.qld.gov.au/solar-for-rentals or talk to your property manager or landlord today.


Join Tenants Queensland today

Your membership helps ensure a voice for tenants in Queensland. You will also receive regular member news.

You are now able to join and make your payment online.  Click the Join Link to take you to our application page:

 


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