Balance between renters and landlords needed in rental law reforms

Felicity Moore

The REIQ welcomes the Open Doors to Renting Reform consultation which forms part of the Queensland Government’s Department of Housing and Public Works (HPW) ongoing review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (2008).
A snap poll on the Open Doors to Renting Reform website asked: "Would a pet bond help tenants and property owners reach agreement around keeping pets?" and as at 9am this morning (October 5) 85 per cent of 1451 votes responded yes. 
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said these early results were encouraging.
"We know that so far the overwhelming majority of respondents to the written survey have been tenants (about 76 per cent), so to see this feedback for the Government is encouraging.
"Now, we really need to hear from landlords and property managers so that all parties to the rental experience are heard," she said. "We are urging our members to participate and share their experiences."
“We are on the record, for many years, as being in favour of welcoming pets into rental properties. Understandably, landlords would like to be able to protect their investment and mitigate any damage caused by pets in the form of a pet bond, and for this to happen we need greater flexibility under the Act,” Ms Mercorella said. 
“We know that tenants with pets tend to stay longer, tend to be happier and evidence suggests are more reliable." 
More than 34 per cent of Queenslanders rent and therefore this market is heavily reliant on investors who provide the vast majority of dwellings to the private rental market. 
Ms Mercorella said the needs of both renters and landlords must be balanced to ensure the health and well-being of the sector.
Ms Mercorella said unfair rental laws could weaken the rental sector and cause greater ongoing problems. 
A thriving, competitive rental market that balances the rights of tenants with the benefits for landlords is in everyone’s best interests. 
The REIQ has provided submissions to the State Government review of rental laws, which has been ongoing since 2012. 
“The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act was introduced in 2008, so after a decade of these rental laws it is a good opportunity to consider the effectiveness of the legislation,” Ms Mercorella said. 

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Felicity Moore: 
T: 07 3249 7300
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