Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms: Investors Take Note – Image Property

Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms: Investors Take Note

By Steve Nottle, Head of Property Management.

Published on June 3, 2024. Last updated on June 27, 2024

Steve Nottle,
Head of Property Management at Image Property.

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Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms: Investors Take Note

 

On May 23, 2024, the Queensland Government passed the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024. This new legislation introduces Stage 2 of the rental law reforms and mandates continuing professional development (CPD) for property agents in Queensland.

As investors, it’s crucial to understand these changes and their potential impacts on property investments.

 

Key Changes Under Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms

  • A lessor or property manager can no longer accept an offer from a tenant to pay rent above the advertised price.
  • When a residential tenancy is advertised or offered, a lessor or property manager can no longer accept an offer from a tenant to pay rent in advance if the amount is more than:
    – for a periodic tenancy or moveable dwelling, 2 weeks’ rent; or
    – for a general tenancy, 1 months’ rent.
  • A lessor or property manager can, however, accept rent in advance greater than the statutory limit during a tenancy if offered by the tenant. A lessor or property manager cannot solicit or invite rent in advance greater than the statutory limit during a tenancy.
  • The rent increase frequency limit will attach to the property instead of the tenancy. This means that rent must not be increased within 12 months after the date the rent was last increased for the property. This requirement applies regardless of whether there is a change of tenant or lessor in the 12-month period.
  • The rent increase provisions will apply retrospectively. A rent increase must be calculated from the date of the last rent increase for the property, even if this date occurred before the laws commenced.
  • The tenancy agreement will need to state the date rent was last increased for the property. A tenant will be able to request evidence of the last rent increase for the property, including a copy of the last tenant’s tenancy agreement or rental ledger (redacted). Transitional requirements apply for the sale of property within the first 12 months after the laws commence.
  • If a lessor believes they would be caused undue hardship because they are not able to increase rent within 12 months of the last rent increase, the lessor can make an application to QCAT for an order. QCAT can make an order to increase rent by a stated amount.
  • A new entry ground will be introduced for rooming accommodation for the installation, maintenance or replacement of smoke alarms.
  • The confidentiality requirements under the domestic and family violence provisions will be expanded.
  • New ‘head of power’ provisions will allow the Government to create a regulation in future to establish a portable bond scheme, code of conduct and a process for allowing modifications in residential tenancies for accessibility, safety and security.

 

Additional legislative changes will commence at a later date upon proclamation, including:

  • a prescribed form for tenancy applications and property managers will only be able to request limited information from a tenant in their application.
  • new verification of identity requirements will apply.
  • lessors will need to provide evidence to substantiate bond claims within 14 days.
  • removal of maximum bond limit thresholds and a tenant will be permitted to seek a bond refund in some circumstances.
  • bills for service charges and water consumption charges must be provided to the tenant within 4 weeks (unless water consumption charges relate to the end of a tenancy, in which case the property manager can issue an invoice calculated on reasonable use).
  • the entry notice periods shall be extended from 24 hours to 48 hours.
  • entry will be limited to two times per week once a Form 12 Notice to Leave or Form 13 Notice of Intention to Leave is issued.
  • the parties will need to follow a new process for the attachment of fixtures and making structural changes in residential properties.
  • if a tenant breaks lease, reletting costs will need to be calculated in accordance with a statutory formula.
  • a new process will be introduced for collecting, storing and destroying personal information.

 

As these reforms take effect, it’s essential to stay informed and proactive in navigating the evolving regulatory environment. The question remains: has the government fully considered the implications for all stakeholders, including landlords and prospective tenants?

We encourage our investors to stay engaged and reach out for further guidance as we navigate these changes together.

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