24 Jun 2024

Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms: What You Need to Know

Last month, the QLD government passed the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024, ushering in a new era of rental law reforms. 

These changes, collectively known as Stage 2, aim to enhance protections for both tenants and landlords, fostering a more equitable and transparent rental market. 

As the implementation of these reforms commences, it is crucial for all stakeholders - from property managers to tenants - to understand the implications and how to navigate the evolving landscape.


Key Highlights of the Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms

The Stage 2 rental law reforms will commence in two parts. The first phase of these legislative changes kicked off on 6 June 2024. Here’s what you need to know about these updates:

Rent Bidding and Advance Rent Payments Restricted

Landlords and property managers can no longer accept offers from tenants to pay rent above the advertised price. Additionally, they cannot accept rent in advance that exceeds the statutory limit, which is 2 weeks' rent for periodic tenancies, rooming accommodations, or moveable dwellings, and 1 month's rent for general tenancies.

Rent Increase Frequency Tied to the Property

The rent increase frequency limit is now attached to the property, rather than the tenancy. This means that rent cannot be increased within 12 months of the last increase, regardless of whether there is a change in tenant or landlord during that period.

Retrospective Application of Rent Increase Provisions

The rent increase provisions apply retrospectively, meaning that the date of the last rent increase for the property must be used to calculate any future increases, even if that date occurred before the new laws came into effect.

Evidence of the last rent increase must be provided within 14 days

If requested by the tenant, evidence of the last rent increase date must be provided by way of the last tenancy agreement or rental ledger with previous tenants personal information removed.

Undue Hardship Provisions for Rent Increases

If a landlord believes they would face undue hardship due to the 12-month rent increase limit, they can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for an order to increase the rent by a specific amount. Affordability of the tenant will also be taken into consideration.

New Entry Ground for Rooming Accommodation

A new entry ground has been introduced for rooming accommodation, allowing landlords and contractors to enter the property for the installation, maintenance, or replacement of smoke alarms.

Expanded Confidentiality Requirements

The confidentiality requirements under the domestic and family violence provisions have been expanded, providing additional protections for affected tenants.

Future Regulatory Powers

The new "head of power" provisions grant the government the ability to create regulations in the future to establish a portable bond scheme, a code of conduct, and a process for allowing modifications in residential tenancies for accessibility, safety, and security.


Upcoming Changes in Stage 2

The second part of the Stage 2 rental law reforms is set to commence at a later date, upon proclamation. These changes include:

Rental Bond Roll-Over Scheme

The introduction of a rental bond roll-over scheme will allow tenants through the RTA to transfer their bond between tenancies, reducing the upfront costs associated with moving. A bridging bond loan product will also be introduced to assist eligible households in affording the new bond while waiting for the release of their previous one.

Minor Modifications Framework

A new process for a tenant to request fixtures and structural changes in writing for the installation of minor modifications, enhancing accessibility, safety and security will be adapted. An owner or managing party must respond within 28 days of the request. 

Expanded Entry Notice Requirements

The entry notice period will be extended from 24 hours to 48 hours, providing tenants with more advance notice before landlords or property managers can access the property.

Fee-Free Rent Payment Options

Landlords will be required to offer at least one fee-free rent payment method to tenants, reducing the financial burden on renters.

Utility Bill Timelines

Tenants are now required to be billed for utility bills for service charges and water consumption within 4 weeks, unless the water charges relate to the end of a tenancy, in which case the property manager can issue an invoice based on reasonable use. The tenant will not be required to pay the invoice if it falls outside this 4 week period.

Code of Conduct for the Rental Sector

A new Code of Conduct will be introduced to govern the behaviour and practices of all stakeholders in the rental industry.

Standardised Rental Application Form

A prescribed form for tenancy applications will be introduced, standardising the information that property managers can request from prospective tenants.

Reletting Fee Calculations

When a tenant breaks their lease, reletting costs will be calculated in accordance with a statutory formula and will be calculated on the remaining time on the tenancy and whether the fixed term agreement is greater or less than three years.

Personal Information Handling

A new process will be implemented for the collection, storage, and destruction of personal information related to tenancies.


Continuing Professional Development for Property Agents

In addition to the rental law reforms, the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 also introduced a framework for a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) regime for all property agents in Queensland. 

This new requirement will commence in June 2025 and will apply to a wide range of professionals, including:

  • Residential sales agents
  • Property managers
  • Resident letting agents
  • Buyer's agents
  • Auctioneers
  • Commercial sales and leasing agents
  • Commercial property managers
  • Business brokers

Property agents will be required to complete CPD requirements annually, as determined by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in consultation with a stakeholder advisory panel, including the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ). Agents will need to provide a statement to the OFT confirming their completion of the CPD requirements when renewing their real estate licence or registration.

Need Assistance with the New Reforms?

If you have any questions or need help managing your property, contact Aurora Realty today. Our team of experts is here to assist you with navigating the new rental law reforms and ensuring your property management experience is seamless and stress-free.

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