As requested, I have responded to your priorities below. All statements are complementary to statements by the Greens’ spokespeople, including myself, and other policy documents that are on the public record.
- What is your party’s policy about tenancy conditions in the residential rental market? In particular, if you have a policy about tenants’ rights please provide it
The Greens support reforms to address the clear power imbalance that currently exists between landlords and renters. We believe housing should be treated as right, not a speculative commodity, and that renters should be able to enjoy a safe, secure and affordable home.
You can view our plans to improve renters’ rights here: https://www.michaelberkman.com.au/renters and our broader public and rental housing policy here: https://greens.org.au/qld/policies/public-rental-housing.
Our priorities are:
- A “Right to Remain”, meaning all tenants would have access to unlimited leases, which can only be terminated with 12 months’ notice by the landlord, and only on reasonable grounds. To do this, we need to end “No Grounds” evictions.
- Rent controls: We need a reasonable cap on rent increases so that landlords can only increase rents every 24 months and never by more than inflation across that time.
- Minimum standards: Landlords must be required to maintain rental homes at a minimum standard prior to and during the tenancy. In 2017, the Queensland Parliament passed legislation to allow the Housing Minister to create minimum standards but the Government still has not acted to implement that legislation.
- Right to carry out minor improvements: Tenants should be able to make minor renovations to their property without permission from the landlord, including putting nails in the wall, installing furniture hooks for safety or putting up shelves.
- A ban on “No Pet clauses”: Tenants should have the right to have a pet in their rental property.
- Does your party intend to take any action during the next term of government to support or improve the rights of Queensland residential renters? If so, what?
The Greens will continue to support reforms to Queensland’s tenancy laws to improve rights for renters. We will push for legislation to this effect to be passed in the next term of government (based on the principles outlined below under the “Make Renting Fair” section).
- Will your party maintain the current level of support for the independent tenancy advisory services in Queensland?
The Greens will maintain support for the independent tenancy advisory services in Queensland and categorically rule out funding cuts for these crucial services.
Does your party support the extension of the COVID-19 emergency moratorium on evictions for residential renters, to at least December 31, 2020?
The Greens and I have called on the Labor Government to extend the eviction ban until at least December 2020. I was shocked when they extended that moratorium for commercial tenants but not for renters. I strongly support QCOSS and Tenants Queensland’s campaigns to extend the evictions moratorium.
- Make renting fair
- Ending ‘no grounds’ evictions and introducing the requirement for reasonable grounds for all tenancy terminations with a ‘right to remain’, which would provide unlimited leases to tenants which can only be terminated with 12 months’ notice and only on reasonable grounds.
- The right for residential tenants to keep a pet unless the lessor has reasonable grounds to refuse them, and the prohibition against lessors charging a “pet bond” or additional fee to enable tenants to keep a pet.
- Making it easier for renters to get their bonds back.
- Fair rents, including limiting rent increases to once every 24 months and by no more than CPI per year unless the lessor successfully applies for a tribunal order to increase the rent further by demonstrating that the amenity or standard of the home has substantially increased or additional services, goods or facilities are to be provided by the lessor.
- Implementing minimum rental standards.
- Improving tenant privacy by increasing notice periods for entry to the premises from 24 hours to 48 hours.
Further, and as detailed above, I’m also pushing to:
- Give renters the right to make minor improvements to their home;
- Ensure people have fair access to information that may affect their tenancies;
- Increase notice periods for notices to leave issued by a lessor;
- Ensure water bills are promptly forwarded by lessors where a tenant is required to pay; and
- Improve rights for rooming as well as residential tenancy agreements, including removing the ability for a lessor to remove a resident under a rooming accommodation agreement without a Tribunal order.