CONSULTATION: Renters and property owners will have their say on the updated residential tenancy laws.
CONSULTATION: Renters and property owners will have their say on the updated residential tenancy laws. KentWeakley

Doors open for renters and landlords to have their say

RENTERS and property owners will have the opportunity to have their first say on residential tenancy laws in decades.

The Queensland Government is undertaking the state wide consultation in readiness for important reforms to the tenancy laws, ensuring the needs of Queenslanders are met now and into the future.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said they wanted to hear from as many residents as possible and hear what they want to see changed.

"The last full-scale review and changes to the tenancy regulations dates back to 1970s, it's well and truly time for another now,” she said.

Renters, landlords and real estate agents will be contacted and asked for their views, how the market is changing and how well the system is working.

This is the key part of the Palaszczuk Government's Open Doors to Renting Reform consultation process announced on Sunday September 30, which aims to ensure the 2008 Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act.

All Queenslanders deserve a safe, secure and sustainable home, and by updating the laws, protections for both renters and landlords can be improved, Ms Palaszczuk said.

"My Government wants Queensland to have contemporary residential tenancy laws that protect tenants and property owners alike and improve stability in the rental market,” she said.

The feedback will be sought from landlords and the rental property industry in a bid to protect all involved, and to improve housing stability for people living in the private market.

Queensland has one of the highest proportions of people renting in Australia, with currently 34 per cent of the state's households finding their homes in the rental market.

Around 20 per cent of tenants have waited more than a week for urgent repairs, 20 per cent have had maintenance issues and eight per cent live in a home in need of urgent repairs.

This was revealed from a national tenant survey run by CHOICE, National Association of Tenant Organisations reported a range of concerns from tenants.

More than 60 per cent of tenants feel they can not ask for change, and 50 per cent fear being blacklisted on a tenancy data base.

Housing and public works minister Mick de Brenni said those living in rental accommodation should enjoy a decent standard of living, and property owners should have well managed properties.

"Over the next three months, I want the state-wide consultation to come up with answers as to how can people better enforce their rights and how can competing interests be better managed,” he said.

Issues such as difficulties in hanging family photos, and not being allowed to keep pets in most rentals will be discussed.

"How can we make it easier for tenants to add finishing touches to their home, without causing damage that would be costly for property owners,” Mr de Brenni said.

Property owners have raised the need for regular inspections to properties and repairs to be addressed more quickly.

"People may have to take further action, such as dispute resolution through the Residential Tenants Authority, or going to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Authority to get orders enforced,” he said.

The consultation will run from September 30 to November 30, featuring a range of consultation activities, including pop-up kiosks at markets and shopping centres where people can share their views and experience of renting in Queensland.

For more information and to complete the survey, visit www.qld.gov.au/rentinginqld or email rentinginqld@hpw.qld.gov.au.

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