Stage two rental law reforms community consultation is now open, so let’s look at the facts. On April 18, the state government released its Options Paper, setting out proposed stage two rental law reforms to yet again amend the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (RTRA).
The decision was also made by the government to stabilise rents by reducing increases to once a year from July 1, 2023.
The proposed stage two changes would build basically on stage one rental reforms, which have been coming into effect in phases under the Housing Legislation Amendment Act since October 2021.
Let’s have a look at the same information about the reforms through different lenses and see how you can really have two different perspectives on this issue.
The Rental Tenancies Authority says the changes will level the playing field through the following:
- Installing modifications – make it easier for tenants to install the safety, security and accessibility modifications they need
- Making minor personalisation changes – help parties negotiate about making minor personalisation changes to rental properties
- Balancing privacy and access – better balance between tenants’ rights to privacy and owners’ need for information to inform their investment decisions
- Improving the rental bond process – ensure rental bond settings provide appropriate security and parties are transparent and accountable for their bond claims
- Fairer fees and charges – ensure rent payment, utility and reletting fees and charges are fair and reasonable
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) sees things a little differently, saying the reforms focus on:
- Limiting a property owner’s right to refuse a request for modifications from the tenant
- Restricting a property owner’s right of entry
- Limiting the information that a property owner may request when assessing a tenancy application
- Restricting the amount of bond a property owner may charge
- Reviewing the bond claims process
- Capping break lease fees to a regulated amount
The REIQ have said they will be advocating against most of the stage two rental law reforms as they feel the government should be encouraging further private investment to assist with the rental shortages and get more supply back onto the market.
A comprehensive 36-page options document from the Queensland Government is available on their website. You can have your say before May 29 at 5pm.
No matter which side of the fence you sit on, I encourage you to read the facts, ask questions and give feedback. It’s only then we can make good decisions.