No winners under de Brenni's reckless rental reforms

Nicole Madigan

16/11/2019
The Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni has announced Stage 1 of proposed rental reforms that would significantly damage Queensland’s rental market and create the most onerous rental laws in the country.

The REIQ strongly opposes the proposed reforms which are a slap in the face to every day ‘mum and dad’ property owners who provide the majority of housing to Queensland’s renters.

If enacted, the law change would erode fundamental landlord rights and deter property investment across the state.

The reforms’ ripple effect would see renters struggling to find suitable housing under already tight conditions.

In a further blow to renters, by de Brenni’s own admission the reform would likely increase weekly rent from an average of $360 per week to $378, which is a massive 5 per cent rise.

The most controversial and damaging reform is the proposed abolishment of a landlord’s right to not renew a tenancy agreement at the end of its agreed term.

In practice, this will allow a tenant to remain in a tenancy indefinitely and for as long as they want unless the landlord can establish a reason prescribed by law.

This reform has been cleverly disguised by the Palaszczuk Government as the abolishment of ‘without grounds terminations or evictions’ - that description is inaccurate and misleading.

Under current rental laws, landlords cannot end a fixed term tenancy agreement before it ends unless a breach has occurred.

Other proposed reforms include:

• the loss of a landlord’s right to refuse pets;

• the introduction of a tenant right to make modifications to a rental property without the landlord’s consent; and

• the introduction of minimum housing standards requiring the rental property and its inclusions to meet prescribed standards and to be in a certain state of repair.

The REIQ is disappointed that landlords have been totally overlooked in this rental law review.

Queensland has one of the highest proportions of renters in Australia with more than 34 per cent of Queensland households in the rental market.

The vast majority of rental housing is provided by everyday Queenslanders, and many of those are already making a loss on their investments.

Given the significance of these reforms, we are disappointed that the Minister is offering a mere six week consultation process after waiting a year to announce these reforms.

On its face, the Government may think it is protecting tenants but in reality, we are likely to see housing supply reduce.

There will be no winners.

As a community, it's time for us to unite and fight against these damaging and disingenuous reforms, which will negatively impact both landlords and renters.

The REIQ will be actively campaigning against the reforms via a range of avenues, including social media and other shareable channels.

For success, the campaign will rely on the active support of real estate professionals and the community at large.

Stay tuned!

In the meantime, make your voices heard and object to the changes by clicking here .

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