New Queensland Rental Laws!

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 has now been amended. Some changes start on Assent—this means as soon as signed by the QLD Governor. 

A snap shot of what starts now:

Rent increases are limited to 12 months and are attached to the property—not the tenancy! Our general tenancy agreements will be updated to include a new section detailing the last rent increase date. Note, this applies whether the rental is sold, improvements are done eg air conditioning or new carpet—even a complete renovation is irrelevant to the rent amount.

This has implications for break lease situations where a tenant breaks their lease at say the 9 month mark of a tenancy. In seeking a new tenant, it is going to get a little messy to find a new tenant at the current rate and then increase their rent in 3 months time but ensure it is then a full 12 months until the rent can be increased again. This means offering a 15 month lease to the new tenant is worth considering but there are issues surrounding how the rental is advertised to the market. We are working on this but need the final wording of the legalisation.

We strongly recommend serious consideration is given to all the implications of offering a 6 month lease to a tenant as on the surface there will be little to no benefit to you rental owners.   Talk to a property manager to be sure you are fully informed if a tenant is requesting 6 months or you are considering offering it. The rent amount for that 6 months has 12 month implications.

If an owner is wanting to sell their rental with or without tenants in the home, any investor looking to buy needs to be aware they can not change the rent until  12 months has passed  since the last rent increase. If the last rent increase was well below market value—you could be impacting the sale price significantly.

The tenants can request evidence of the day of the last rent increase which must be provided within in 14 days.  Just think about that for a moment— it’s not enough the law has changed to be 12 months since the last rent increase—a new party  can request information about a past transaction (in this case tenant and tenancy agreement) they were not a party too. Where else in our legal system is it not enough for something to be law? Personal information will need to be redacted before tenancy agreements are shared with new tenants.

Undue hardship— permission can be sort from QCAT (QLD Civil and Administrative Tribunal) to increase the rent due to undue hardship on the part of the owner. The tribunal must have regard to any representation made the tenant in relation to affordability and ability to continue to pay rent.

Rent bidding—We can no longer accept offers from tenants to pay more than the advertised price for a rental. In the past we couldn’t ask but we could accept a tenant offer.

Maximum rent in advance at the start of a tenancy—we can no longer accept offers from tenants to pay more than 1 months rent during the application process. Once a tenancy has started, the tenants can pay rent in advance by more than a month if they choose.

There are more changes to start on proclamation (meaning when the Minister announces a date) and we will keep you informed.

More than ever, experienced quality property managers are going to be needed in Queensland. Luckily, it's the best job in the WORLD and at McAdam and Turnbull Realty - we are on the side of investors and can help guide investors through the laws. Our experience and common sense will ensure you get the best quality property management service. 

To find out more, ring Bronwyn on 0447 332 923 or find out more - Property Management Services