Complete breakdown of Qld’s new rental laws
QUEENSLAND'S new rental laws designed to help tenants and landlords during the COVID-19 pandemic were pushed through state parliament this week.
Here is a complete breakdown of the new guidelines:
● A tenant is considered impacted by COVID-19 if they have it, care for someone who has it or are subject to a quarantine direction and suffer a loss of income of 25 per cent or more, or rent payable is 30% or more of their income.
● Tenants are required to provide upon request documents to show they are impacted by COVID-19, which include proof of job termination/stand down, government income support, a medical certificate and prior income.
● Tenants and landlords are encouraged to agree on solutions together and if they can't, they must use the Residential Tenancy Authority's conciliation service.
● It will be mandatory to go to conciliation for rent variation, ending agreements or gaining entry to properties for repairs and maintenance.
● If conciliation is unsuccessful, they can go to the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). In the interim, the tenant must keep paying the required rent or "as much as they can afford".
● The tenant must notify the property owner is there is a change in circumstance, regardless of whether there is an increase or a decrease in the total household income.
● If a property owner is reliant on rental income to meet essential costs of living, they should raise the concerns during conciliation with their tenants and the owner may have to provide evidence to support their position.
● Landlords and tenants should discuss the duration the new rent amount applies for and when it will be reviewed.
● The tenant can ask the lessor for the rent amount to be reviewed at any time during the agreed variation to rent if the household's circumstances change.
● The owner must give two months' notice to sell the home, or if they or immediate family need to move in.
● Tenants experiencing domestic and family violence can end their tenancy agreement with seven days' notice.
● Fixed term agreements due to expire during the pandemic will be extended until September 30, or unless the tenant requests a shorter term.
● Tenants may also refuse physical entry for non-essential reasons, including routine repairs and inspections. But, tenants must agree to virtual inspections if physical inspections cannot take place.
Originally published as Complete breakdown of Qld's new rental laws