Important information for Queensland Landlords

Many property investors with residential rental properties in Queensland may not be aware that New Minimum Standards Housing Legislation has recently been passed in Queensland Parliament.

The Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Bill 2017 was introduced into Queensland Parliament on 10th August 2017.  This bill was PASSED on 25 October 2017.

When will the new bill take effect?

The commencement date of the bill is not yet known. As the Queensland Government announced a state election on 29th October, the Government is in caretaker mode until a new Government is elected and sworn in. The new laws commencement date cannot occur until the new Government is in place.

What does it mean for you? 

The bill amends five different Acts, the important ones to note for Landlords are the Housing Act 2003, and the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (RTRA Act).

The bill will provide for the prescribing of minimum housing standards for rental accommodation. These will be achieved by:

  • Amending the RTRA Act to enable new provisions to be made within the RTRA Regulation that specify the minimum housing standards in relation to building and health matters that is the lessor and/or agent responsibility
  • Enabling the development of prescribed housing standards in the RTRA Regulation to supplement the existing legislation for minimum building standards under Building Codes enforced through local councils and that of tenancy legislation and regulation with a focus on health and safety matters which are or will be the responsibility of the lessor and/or agent.

Amendments that will be made to the RTRA Act include a NEW section 17A and AMENDMENT to existing section 185 – see below

17A Prescribed minimum housing standards
(1) A prescribed minimum housing standard means a standard prescribed by a regulation.
(2) A regulation may prescribe minimum housing standards for—
(a) a residential premises let, or to be let, under a residential tenancy agreement; or
(b) a rental premises; or
(c) inclusions for premises; or
(d) facilities in a moveable dwelling park (park facilities).
(3) A prescribed minimum housing standard may be for any matter relating to the premises, inclusions or park facilities, including, for example, the following—
(a) sanitation, drainage, cleanliness and repair
of the premises, inclusions or park facilities;
(b) ventilation and insulation;
(c) protection from damp and its effects;
(d) construction, condition, structures, safety and situation of the premises, inclusions or
park facilities;
(e) the dimensions of rooms in the premises;
(f) privacy and security;
(g) provision of water supply, storage and sanitary facilities;
(h) laundry and cooking facilities;
(i) lighting;
(j) freedom from vermin infestation;
(k) energy efficiency.
(4) If a regulation made under subsection (2) makes provision in relation to a matter and provision is also made in relation to that matter by, or under,
any Act, the regulation—
(a) if not inconsistent with the Act, must be observed in addition to that Act; and
(b) if inconsistent with the Act, is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect
and that Act prevails.
Example of inconsistency between a prescribed
minimum housing standard and an Act—
A prescribed minimum housing standard, that purports to require a lessor to keep residential premises and inclusions clean after the start of a tenancy, is inconsistent with the obligations of a tenant under section 188(2).
(5) A regulation may also prescribe how compliance with minimum housing standards is to be monitored and enforced.
(6) In this section—
premises means premises mentioned in subsection (2)(a) or (b).

83 Amendment of s 185 (Lessor’s obligations generally)
(1) Section 185(2)—
insert—
(e) the premises and inclusions otherwise comply with any prescribed minimum
housing standards applying to the premises or inclusions.
(2) Section 185(3)—
insert—
(e) must ensure the premises and inclusions otherwise comply with any prescribed
minimum housing standards applying to the premises or inclusions.

What is important to note for now, is that the regulations and method of enforcement / compliance are not yet known.

However, it is important that you ensure your property manager is keeping you up to speed with this as it all unfolds.

Beyond Property Management would like to thank and credit Real Estate Excellence for their continued service in keeping our Agency updated with up-to-the-minute announcements and information that effect our industry.

As we are clients of Real Estate Excellence, Beyond Property Management clients can be assured of best practice service and the utmost in industry compliance.

Is your Property Manager your eyes and ears in the market? 

(c) Beyond Property Management Pty Ltd and Real Estate Excellence Pty Ltd 2017