What the new eviction laws mean for landlords

By Greg Bell

Queensland's housing department is making some changes — and taking a solid stance on its decisions. Reforms for property owners have been years in the making and now that they're finally here, landlords are preparing to adjust. However, the department has reported that mistakes will not be tolerated by the government. Let's take a closer look at what this means for investors and landlords.

Understanding the reforms

Many of the new laws, if they have not been implemented already, will become active from October 2022 onwards. Created last year, the Housing Legislation Amendment Act of 2021 has several sections that are set to start in the fall of 2022. According to the government of Queensland, the act was created in order to "improve safety, security and certainty for the Queensland rental market and aim to strike the right balance between renters and rental property owner interests."

Here are some of the most important components of rental reforms:

  • Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) protections: Enacted October 2021
  • Ending tenancies fairly:  Beginning Oct. 2022.
  • Renting with pets: Beginning Oct. 2022.
  • Minimum Housing Standards: Beginning Oct. 2022.

Most of the act deals with the protection of tenants and takes away some of the flexibility that landlords previously enjoyed.

What this means for landlords

While landlords are going to need some time to adjust to these changes, there has been almost a year to prepare for the shift. Keep a close eye on the laws and how they will impact your current assets and tenants.

According to the state government, some landlords have already been slacking on keeping up with the changes. There are some commercial property owners who have been trying to find ways around the new requirements while remaining within the bounds of the law. For example, the Guardian reported that a certain executive was promoting advice to "get all renters on to a fixed-term lease and issue them a notice to leave at the start of every tenancy," in order to easier manipulate the Ending Tenancies Fairly portion of the act.

This was noted by the government, who did not appreciate the advice. Their response was as follows:
"While not unlawful under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 this is disappointing and is not in the spirit of the reforms." In addition, the spokesperson for the state government said that this advice also does not uphold the purpose of the Housing Legislation Amendment Act of 2021. They go on to state, "To support renters enforce their existing rights without fear of retaliatory action, provide greater certainty for renters by ensuring tenancies are only ended for identified reasons and ensure parties receive reasonable and workable notice that the tenancy agreement will end".

As a landlord or rental property owner, it's important to adhere to the new act and stay in the spirit of the new tenant protections. Speaking with other commercial property owners and experts like Ray White Surfers Paradise can help you stay on course. Reach out today to learn more.

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