Election 2020 Scorecard – how the parties compare

October 23, 2020

In the leadup to the Queensland State election, we have asked each of the major parties about their policies in relation to changing and improving our State’s tenancy laws.

We put forward 10 questions to the parties. To date only the Greens, the LNP and the ALP have responded, with a promise to respond having been received from Katter’s Australian Party. We will be publishing their responses as we receive them, and updating the scorecard below.

LegendSupportive Response

Non-supportive Response
Neutral Response or Status Quo
No Response Received

Platform PrioritiesGreensALPKAPLNPOne NationUnited Australia
General Policy Supportive of Renters Rights
Commitment to support and improve renters rights during next Qld Parliament (2020-24)
Support for Independent Tenancy advisory Services in Qld
End No Grounds Evictions
Make it easier for Renters to keep pets
Make it easier for renters to get their bonds back
Limit rent increases
Minimum standards for rental properties
Read what the Greens said hereRead what the ALP said hereCommitted to respond
Awaiting response
Read what the LNP said hereNo responseNo response

The Animal Welfare League QLD joins Make Renting Fair

February 26, 2020

 

The Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) has joined forces with Make Renting Fair QLD, and formally asked the Hon Mick de Brenni to amend Queensland’s tenancy laws.

“Many people rely on their pets for companionship. It should be unlawful to discriminate against someone because they have a pet as part of their family,” says the AWLQ’s Strategic Director Dr Joy Verrinder.  “We know from the thousands of people who adopt animals from our four busy Rehoming Centres in South East Queensland each year, that animals are very important in people’s lives. We also share their heartbreak and devastation when they are surrendering a much-loved dog or cat because a body corporate or landlord has told them they cannot keep their pet.”

A quarter of animals surrendered to AWLQ each year are due to accommodation issues including people not being able to find pet-friendly accommodation due to agents or landlords not allowing pets, moving and homelessness.

“We are often contacted by people seeking help about what to do when they are refused permission to keep their pet,” Dr Verrinder continues. “Most people feel powerless in this situation. If they complain or question the decision, they may lose their accommodation. If they move, a massive effort is required to find a suitable place to live with their animal.

“To limit the ability for people to keep animals who are often their best friends is outrageous. Just as people are entitled to rent with their partner, child, sister or brother, pet owners should be entitled to rent with their pets. There will be varying levels of responsibility in caring for properties amongst all people regardless of whether or not they own a pet. There are also already safeguards in place for landlords through the existing rental bond system, as well as opportunities to insure with companies who cover pet damage.”

AWLQ and Make Renting Fair in Queensland support legislation which allows tenants to keep pets. A tenant would still be required to seek consent from a property owner. The property owner can only refuse with approval from the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal based on a set of prescribed reasons. Similar legislation has already been passed in Victoria, the ACT as well as NT.

Currently, a landlord can refuse pets in their rental properties without providing any reasonable grounds.

The Residential Tenancies Authority reports only about 10% of Queensland’s rental properties allow pets. Yet, 84% of families either have or would like to have a pet.


Take action!

Support our petition and ask the Queensland Government to introduce legislation to make it easier for renters to keep their pets.

Cate sees the reforms as a win-win for landlords and tenants

December 20, 2019

“After reading the State government’s proposed reforms, I don’t see any changes that are outside the parameters of basic human respect and dignity,” says Cate, a South-East Queensland resident and landlord with two rental properties. In her opinion, the reforms will provide a better opportunity for the two-way relationship between a tenant and landlord to be fulfilled.

“If landlords want to earn money off a rental property, they have a responsibility to respect the people living in those homes,” she explains. “At the same time, tenants have a responsibility to look after the house and pay their rent on time. It’s a two-way street, and we need to look after each other.  When I sign a contract with a tenant, I expect that income because it pays my bills. They sign the contract and expect a place to call home where they can enrol their kids in school, access health care and go to work.”

Cate’s ability to understand the supportive relationship between tenants and lessors means she endorses the overall package.

When asked her opinion on proposed reforms to end without ground evictions, Cate says, ‘’If either of us have to end this agreement early, there has to be a reason. Making those reasons really specific is very important. Anything outside of the proposed reasons would probably be discriminatory and should not be allowed.”

Cate also understands that minimum housing standards are essential for both tenants and lessors, and they aren’t about bringing a house up to five-star standards. “No one is asking landlords to install ducted air-conditioning. It’s just about making sure a house is waterproof, that the kitchens and bathrooms work, and there isn’t a vermin problem,” she explains.

“If you own a rental property and you aren’t able to fulfil your duty to provide a safe and secure home, you shouldn’t have the property on the rental market,” Cate says. “And if it’s going to be a financial burden to bring your property up to standard for tenants, landlords need to make adjustments to their financial arrangements so the house can be made safe by them, or a new owner”

“The main point to remember is that to an extent, fair and ethical tenancies already happen. We don’t need to sensationalise the changes or fear the worst,” says Cate. “The changes safeguard both landlords and tenants and set fair and reasonable standards as the norm, not the exception.”

Your rental reform ideas: “Tenants need to have rights…”

October 2, 2019

We asked and you answered! Here’s one of the many rental reform ideas that have been contributed by Queenslanders…

“Tenants need to have rights, which as far as I’m concerned, we don’t have. The laws are made to protect relators and landlords instead.

“I have been to the Tribunal before, and the landlord had proper representation, but of course, I had to represent myself. I lost, regardless of all the illegal building work we had to put with. This is one of many issues facing tenants in Queensland.” Julie

Take action!

Do you agree with Julie? We want to hear about the changes you most want to see. Email [email protected] or send us a video on our Facebook or Twitter page.

To support our initiative to change Queensland laws and make renting fair, sign up for our campaign updates and share this post with your friends.

International Tenants Day – photo and art competition

September 24, 2019

Tenants Queensland invites all tenants across Queensland to participate in our photo competition, capturing what ‘A sense of home’ means to you. Tell us in a caption “A sense of home is…”

You have until October 4 to send your photos and/or artworks –
1 – Email or mail your photo or photo of artwork, name, contact details and where you are renting in QLD to [email protected] or by post to Tenants Queensland 1/87 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill 4000
2 – Post your photo or photo of your artwork on the Tenants Queensland Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/tenantsqld/

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY
To be eligible for this competition, please send us your photo, name and contact details and tell us where you are renting in QLD. By sending your photo to Tenants Queensland, you are consenting to the photo, artwork, or photo of artwork being used publicly by Tenants Queensland, including on the Tenants Queensland website and social media. By sending this photo you confirm that you have consent of any person in the photo for their image to be shared in this way and you confirm the artwork sent in as entries for the competition are the entrant’s original artwork.
Any enquiries please contact Cameron at Tenants Queensland – Phone: (07) 3832 9447 – Email: [email protected] Website: tenantsqld.org.au

 

 

Tenants deserve greater respect of their privacy

July 17, 2019

Have you ever missed checking your mailbox for a single day? As a tenant, this benign act could result in your lessor catching you in a compromising position the next day, or having your home accessed without your knowledge. Neither of those scenarios seems fair.

In some circumstances under current Queensland law, a lessor or agent needs to provide a mere 24 hours notice to access your property. Meaning an agent or lessor can put a form in your mailbox or send to your email early on one morning, and then access your property the very next day, exactly 24 hours after serving notice. With or without your knowledge.

We believe tenants deserve greater consideration of their privacy and are asking Queensland politicians to extend this notice period to 48 hours. An extra day has little impact on the property owner or agent, yet it increases the tenants’ likelihood of receiving the notice and has positive roll-on effects for the relationship between the tenant and lessor.

All Australians, no matter their income, employment status, shift patterns or the frequency with which they check their mailbox deserve privacy in the place they call home. 

To make these policy changes, we need the support of Queenslanders. Share our message on social media, sign up to our newsletter and share your own rental stories with us.

If you have personally experienced a breach of privacy related to this 24-hour notice policy, we want to hear about it — email [email protected].

You can also have your say. Send us a 30-second video answering this question: “THE THING I MOST WANT TO CHANGE ABOUT RENTING IN QUEENSLAND IS….”

Your video will be shared on our social and other public media sites. Send it to our Facebook page or via email ([email protected])

‘’Lives turned upside down – NSW renters experiences of no grounds evictions’’

March 19, 2019

Its real! Renters are bearing the brunt of outdated laws more than we think.  Of the 650 or so renters who completed the survey reported on in ”Lives turned upside down”, just under half had direct experience of a no grounds eviction. The result – renters are moving more often and renters are experiencing housing instability.

But even renters who have not experienced a no grounds eviction, the threat of one is enough to create anxiety and fear for tenants, many whom hold back from reporting problems for fear of being evicted.

Read the full report here about the impact on tenants of no grounds evictions.

The experience in Queensland is NO DIFFERENT.  That’s why we need your support to change the law in Queensland.  Please share with your family and friends so they can support us to change this archaic law in Queensland.

Tenancy Law Changes in the ACT

February 26, 2019

Last week the ACT assembly passed a bill to make renting fairer in the ACT.  Changes include:

  • a default position that tenants can have pets and even where a tenant is required to seek consent it can only be refused if ACAT has approved the refusal.
  • Rent increases of up to a prescribed amount, if a landlord wants a higher increase the tenant has to agree, or the landlord has to apply to ACAT.
  • a new process for modifications of a property by a tenant.
  • a new limit imposed on break lease fees to ensure they only cover a landlord’s actual loss.
  • tenants right to vacate by providing 3 weeks notice if they are given a no cause termination notice during a fixed term tenancy.

The changes will take at least 12 months to implement.

Unfortunately other changes including an attempt to end unfair evictions and the creation of minimum standards were not supported.  Despite not winning changes to unfair evictions, landlords will be required to provide a statutory declaration if they are going to evict a tenant because their family will be moving in.

You can find the full story here.

Kickstarting the campaign in 2019

February 22, 2019

With the government still planning to table a tenancy law reform bill in parliament mid-year, we are kick starting the campaign!

As you know the Queensland government’s public consultation about tenancy law (Open Doors to Renting Reform) closed on November 30. They are currently pulling together a report on all the responses.

As we build momentum we’ll be calling for your help to lobby politicians and the community.

Help us kickstart the campaign by asking your friends and family who have rented to follow us on Facebook @makerentingfairqld and sign up as a supporter to receive campaign updates here

Making a Place Your Home – TQ calls for a shake up of laws!

December 13, 2018

Listen to the Minister for Housing (Hon Mick de Brenni), the REIQ and Tenants Queensland discuss tenancy law reform issues with ABC’s Emma Griffith.  Property standards,  rent increases and limitations, pets, and property inspections are all covered on Tuesday morning’s FOCUS program.

Listen here