Increasing numbers of Queenslanders rent their home – around 1.8 million people, or 35.9% of all households. The Queensland government is currently reviewing renting laws. Make Renting Fair in Qld is calling for progressive change so that renters can live in decent, safe places, under fair conditions – a place where they can create a home for themselves and their families.
Give people the right to stay in their rental homes and prevent unfair evictions
People who rent their home should have the right to stay if they are doing the right thing. Right now, renters can be asked to leave without being given any reason. We need to change the laws to stop people from being evicted from their homes in this way.
To Make Renting Fair in Queensland, we need to make sure there is a good reason within the law before a person is asked to leave their home.
Keep rents fair to keep people in their homes
To Make Renting Fair in Queensland, let’s
1. Limit rent increases to one annually; and
2. Require rent increases more than 20% above the CPI to be justified by the lessor in the tribunal
Make sure that people who rent their homes are treated fairly and with honesty
People who rent their home should be able to rely on the information from their lessor or agent being clear, honest and understandable.
To Make Renting Fair in Queensland, let’s allow renters to dispute the terms of their lease if lessors fail to act in a fair and reasonable way.
Tenants should be able to rely upon full disclosure by the lessor or agent of issues that might affect a tenancy. Tenants will benefit by changes to tenancy law that place a positive duty upon the lessor/agent to disclose information and by including additional provisions allowing tenants to terminate in cases of material misrepresentation.
This should start with disclosure of certain material facts to a tenant before entering into a residential tenancy agreement. Things like:
- If there is a mortgage over the property, whether the mortgagee has given consent;
- Any proposal to sell the premises;
- Whether the lessor resides in close proximity;
- Whether there are any major urban developments approved in the area;
- The extent of any repairs and maintenance works undertaken at the property during the previous 24 months, asbestos; and;
- Any other factors that may have a significant bearing on a household’s enjoyment of the property were they to take up occupation.
Being able to personalise our physical space is identified as a significant contributor to psychological wellbeing. With long-term renting the housing reality for many people, it is an important reform that people who rent their home be allowed to undertake reasonable minor modifications.
Domestic and family violence protections
Everyone has the right to feel safe and live their life free of violence, abuse or intimidation. It is important that tenancy laws support people who experience domestic and family violence.
Keep people together with their pets in their rental homes
To Make Renting Fair, people who rent should be able to keep their pets in their rental homes.
Enforce basic standards for rental homes
To Make Renting Fair let’s
a. Require periodic third party inspections
b. Introduce transparency between tenancies regarding repair, maintenance and orders of the tribunal, with orders applying to a property not a tenancy.
Make it easier for people who rent to get their bond money back when moving
To Make Renting Fair in Queensland, the bond should always be returned to tenants unless the lessor makes a substantiated claim against the bond.
A bond on a rented home is the tenant’s money, being held in trust in case there is damage or loss of rent at the end of a tenancy. Right now, it’s a race between the lessor and the tenant to see who gets the bond claim in first. Tenants can be left arguing their innocence rather than the lessor providing evidence their claims against the tenants bond. If a bond dispute end up in the Tribunal, it should be the agent or lessor who has to make the application, not the tenant.
To Make Renting Fair in Queensland, the bond should always be returned to tenants unless the lessor makes a substantiated claim against it..
Protect people’s privacy by making sure that they have fair warning before someone enters their home
To Make Renting Fair in Queensland increase all 24 hour entry notice periods to 48 hours.
For many entries to tenants’ homes the law only requires 24 hours’ notice to be given. With such short notice, sometimes tenants don’t even know an entry will be made to their home until it has already occurred.
Entries can be made at any time with the agreement of the tenant, but when the entry is done by serving a notice, tenants should be given more notice time.