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Tenancy Law changes from 1 Oct 2022

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) (the RTRA Act) which governs residential tenancies in Queensland has been amended by the Queensland Government, with changes from the amendments being implemented in phases over a three-year period.

Below you can find a quick summary in regards to some of the most relevant and critical changes which came into effect on 1 October 2022.

Our Property Management team has completed comprehensive training leading up to these changes for most of this year in anticipation of any adjustments to our internal processes and resources and to ensure we stay compliant and are fully prepared.

The RTA has provided the below videos to help you better understand the changes from 1 October 2022:

New Laws around Ending Tenancies

  • The right of a lessor to end a periodic tenancy without grounds has been removed, which means that from 1 October 2022, the option to end a periodic tenancy ‘without grounds’ will no longer be available.

New reasons for lessors/ property managers to end a tenancy:

– end of a fixed term agreement;
– preparing the property to sell, or sale with vacant possession;
– the owner or their relative moving in;
– change of use of property;
– significant repairs or renovations;
– demolition or re-development;
– premises used for State Government program

  • New reasons for a tenant to end a tenancy within the first 3 months by application to QCAT for false and misleading information given by a property manager or lessor about certain matters relating to the property, including (a) the condition of the premises or inclusion; (b) the services provided for the premises; (c) a matter relating to the premises that is likely to affect the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the premises; (d) the agreement or any other document the lessor must give the tenant under the RTRA Act – such as body corporate by-laws; or (e) the rights and obligations of the tenant or lessor under the RTRA Act.
  • New grounds for lessor to make QCAT application to end a tenancy
  • Tenants can vacate a property 7 days after moving in if not fit to live in or safe
  • Tenants can vacate a property, because of failure to comply with a Repair Order if the property and inclusions are not in good repair

Changes to Pet Application Approvals and Refusals

  • Properties can no longer be advertised as “no pets allowed”.
  • Lessors/property managers must respond to a pet request within 14 days in writing, or their approval will be deemed.
  • Lessors can impose conditions on a pet approval, i.e. a reasonable condition would be for the tenant to arrange professional fumigation of the property at the end of their tenancy if the pet is capable of carrying parasites
  • Lessors can only refuse a pet request on prescribed grounds, and they must give reasons to tenants for why they believe those grounds apply.

Example reasons for refusal could be:
– Keeping the pet would exceed a reasonable number of animals being kept at the premises.
– The premises are unsuitable for keeping the pet because of a lack of appropriate fencing, open space or another item necessary to humanely accommodate the pet.
– Keeping the pet is likely to cause damage to the premises and in addition could or would be likely to result in damage that could not practically be repaired for a cost less than the rental bond for the premises.
– Keeping the pet would contravene a body corporate by-law, house rules or park rules applying to the premises.
– The tenant has not agreed to the reasonable conditions proposed by the lessor for approval to keep the pet.
– The animal stated in the request is not a pet.

Increase in Maximum Spend Limit for Emergency Repairs

  • Tenants and property managers will be able to arrange emergency repairs to be made to a property up to a maximum amount equal to four (4) weeks’ rentunder the tenancy agreement (increased from two (2) weeks’ rent).

    Introduction of Repair Orders
    From 1 October 2022, tenants can apply for a Repair Order from QCATif routine or emergency repairs are not addressed in a reasonable timeframe.
    Any Repair Order issued will be attached to the property and not to the tenancy. The lessor will be responsible for complying with the order by the due date, even if the tenants move out, and the property cannot be lawfully leased while a Repair Order is outstanding.

Other Changes coming into effect from 1 October 2022:

  • New procedure and requirements for changing locks.
  • Expanded retaliation provisions related to repair matters.
  • Entry Condition Report: Tenants will have 7 days to sign, return and raise dispute with the entry condition report, increased from 3 days.
  • Retaliatory evictions: Tenants can now apply to QCAT to prove their lease is not being renewed due to regular maintenance requests or breaching a lessor/ property manager.

For further information in regards to the new tenancy laws, please refer to the resources linked below:

Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA)
RTRA Act 2008
RTRA Amendment Regulation 2022
Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (HLA Act)