The condition of rental properties in Queensland can often be very poor – especially those that are ‘affordable’ . Although the law says properties must be “in good repair” and “fit to live in” it is not always clear what that means. There are many reasons why tenants might be reluctant to ask an agent for repairs – especially if they have a short lease or are worried about being unfairly evicted. Often a tenant will not pursue repairs because they don’t want to ‘rock the boat’, resulting in problems being inherited by consecutive tenants.
The state government is proposing to make changes to the Residential Tenancy and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (RTRAA) so that, in the future, rental properties will have to meet defined minimum standards before being listed for rent. Minimum standards will make it easier for tenants and lessors to know what is expected.
A Bill which will amend the RTRAA has been introduced into Parliament. The amendment will impose an obligation on lessors who rent properties to ensure they meet the standards, which will be defined in regulation and be developed after a consultation process.
The Bill is currently under consideration by the Public Works and Utilities Committee which will make recommendations on whether it should be supported or if any changes should be made before it becomes law. The parliamentary committee has invited comments from the public before making it’s recommendations.
TQ will be telling the parliamentary committee that it supports the Bill and will be explaining the positive impact that minimum housing standards for rental properties will have on tenants. If you or your loved ones have ever rented in Queensland we strongly encourage you to show your support too.
Send your message of support to PWUC@parliament.qld.gov.au.
For further information about the PWUC Inquiry, including information about making a submission, click here to see the PWUC website