The hourglass is draining dry
  • 18 Jul 2023
  • 4 min read
  • By Casey Cossu

Have your say: Rent increase law changes under review by the Qld Government

Tenancy laws, Rent increases

Last week, the Queensland Government released a Discussion Paper to invite consultation from the community in relation to the changes made to the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (RTRA Act) and Regulation on 18 April 2023, which were implemented as an immediate action to stabilise rent in response to rising housing pressures.


It is unfortunate that the changes proposed in the Discussion Paper focus, once again, on legislative attacks against property owners and fail to address the actual cause of the housing crisis or offer a genuine solution to it.


The REIQ is disappointed that the Queensland Government has disregarded stakeholder feedback and continues to erratically introduce legislative changes, contributing to the strain on housing supply and affordability.


Response to changes that came into effect 1 July 2023

When the changes to the rent increase laws were announced in April, the REIQ acted swiftly to raise concerns with the former Minister for Housing.

In May and June, the REIQ also attended meetings with the new Minister for Housing, Meaghan Scanlon MP, to raise this issue and express our concerns about the obvious ramifications caused by poor drafting and no stakeholder consultation.

Today, the Queensland Government claims that ‘unscrupulous’ lessors and real estate agents have been taking advantage of ‘loopholes’ in the legislation. The REIQ is disappointed with these statements given that our concerns about the flawed legislation were expressed to the Queensland Government several months ago.

Such statements aggravate the community against lessors and real estate agents causing unnecessary reputational damage. Meanwhile, the Queensland Government has avoided taking accountability for the problems now faced as a result of rushing through legislative amendments without due process or any stakeholder consultation. 

What is proposed in the Discussion Paper?

The Discussion Paper proposes to apply the rent increase frequency limit to the rental property rather than the tenancy agreementThis would prevent lessors from being able to increase the rent more frequently than once a year even if the lease with the current tenant ends and new tenants enter a lease for the same rental property.

Alarmingly, it is also being considered whether to make this new law retrospective to 1 July 2023.

This means that a rent increase that is compliant with the current laws that has been affected after 1 July 2023 may become invalid under the new laws once they come into effect, and the lessor would be required to refund to the tenant the difference between the increased rent paid by the tenant and the prior amount of rent

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella discusses the proposal and what it will mean for Property Managers and their clients in this video here.

The REIQ has prepared a factsheet that you can send to your clients with all of the relevant information including how to provide feedback to the Queensland Government.

Have your say about these changes

Feedback to the questions raised in the Discussion Paper can be made:

Renting in Queensland
Department of Housing
PO Box 690

Feedback must be provided to the Department of Housing by 5.00pm on 11 August 2023.

Read more: Minimum Housing Standards: are you prepared.

Browse more property management articles here.

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