Direct debiting of trust accounts for bond payments, a shorter eviction notice period for landlords and fee-free payment options for tenants are just three possible changes being proposed to Queensland’s tenancy laws.
The Queensland government, which recently announced a review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act), has issued a discussion paper on the legislation.
The 27-page discussion paper, issued by the Residential Tenancies Authority, outlines a variety of areas that impact the estimated 34 per cent of Queenslanders that rent.
The changes will also have a major impact on the local real estate industry which, according to the RTA, handles just over 90 per cent of the state’s rental properties.
The review does not include the procedures and practices of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) or public housing policies and procedures.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) said it welcomed the review.
REIQ CEO Anton Kardash said the review allows for the elimination of some of the Act’s superfluous requirements in order to better streamline the residential tenancy transaction process.
“In a tenancy relationship it’s important both parties, namely the tenant and landlord, understand their rights and obligations and that these are fairly balanced,” he said. “Additionally, we welcome the opportunity to clarify the responsibilities of a property manager which at times are onerous and poorly defined.
“It is disappointing to note however, that the review does not extend to the procedures and practices of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT),” Mr Kardash said.
“The Institute, in consultation with its members, is aware of inefficiencies relating to QCAT procedures and inconsistencies in decision making and as such would encourage the state government to widen the scope of the review.”
The submission paper notes a variety of proposed changes to the Act, including:
- Follow NSW’s example by offering tenants the option of a fee-free way of paying rent other than for charges to their own financial institution
- Reduce the notice period required when issuing a Notice to leave without grounds from two months to one month when issued by the lessor while retaining the two weeks notice; Or establish the same notice period of one month for both lessors and tenants
- Amend the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) to provide the RTA with the power to direct debit trust accounts on the authorisation of the account holder
To review the submission paper or to send in comments, please click here.