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Rental law reforms pass Queensland Parliament amid REIQ concerns


The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has expressed mixed reactions to the passing of the Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms Bill in the Queensland Parliament, highlighting both wins and remaining flaws in the legislation.

Antonia Mercorella, CEO of the REIQ, said that while some of the organisation’s concerns were addressed through last-minute amendments, many issues were left unresolved.

“Firstly, a time limit that was originally proposed for water consumption charges, would have seen property owners potentially picking up hundreds of dollars in water bills belonging to the tenant,” Ms Mercorella said.

The REIQ successfully advocated for an amendment allowing invoices to be issued to tenants based on their estimated water usage at the end of their tenancy.

Additionally, the REIQ ensured that tenants could continue to pay rent more than four weeks in advance during their tenancy if desired, preventing potential fines for property managers.

The storage timeframe for renters’ personal information was increased from three to seven years, aligning with legislation governing real estate professionals’ conduct.

The REIQ also secured a requirement for body corporate approval for any structural changes or fixtures requested by tenants in apartment and unit complexes.


While concessions were made for rent increases when a property is sold, the REIQ remains concerned about the impact of attaching the 12-month rent increase frequency limit to a property rather than a tenancy agreement.

A significant victory for the REIQ was the introduction of mandatory continuing professional development for all real estate professionals, following a decade of advocacy.

Despite these wins, the REIQ warns of problematic flaws remaining in the legislation.

The new maximum rental bond limit of four weeks’ rent, irrespective of weekly rent, may lead to a flood of refund requests from tenants with higher bonds, creating an administrative burden on property managers and the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).

The REIQ also criticised the retrospective introduction of rent increase frequency limits, which may cause rents to inflate as lessors attempt to protect against uncertainty.

Changes to reletting fees could result in tenants paying more in break lease fees than previously permitted.

Ms Mercorella concluded that more consultation with stakeholders could have avoided many errors and omissions in the hastily drafted bill.

“Given how imperative tenancy laws are to the health of the rental market, we are disappointed with how carelessly the Government continues to treat them, and how indifferent the Opposition has been in moving amendments on this Bill considering the values and interests they supposedly represent,” she said.

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