The Queensland government has been accused of having a lack of understanding about strata properties.
The state government has proposed new rental reforms, which erode landlord rights and could cost tenants up to $5,000 a year.
The government’s intention to introduce rental reforms while considering new legislation to give body corporates more power shows a lack of understanding about strata properties, Archers the Strata Professionals partner Grant Mifsud said.
As a result, the situation emphasises the need for more education of tenants and potentially government policymakers about how strata communities work, he said.
The current situation means that body corporates in the Sunshine State could have the power to enforce a pet and smoking ban in strata communities, which is part of the recommendations the government is considering from the Queensland University of Technology.
But the proposed rental reforms would do the opposite, and give tenants more rights than owners would have in a body corporate situation, Mr Mifsud said.
“This is a very confusing situation as we have conflicting proposals coming from the Department of Housing and Public Works and the Office of the Attorney-General,” he said.
“On the one hand, we have pet and smoke-free by-laws, the ability to issue fines for by-law breaches as well as towing of illegally parked vehicles, among issues being considered in a major review of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act.
“And now we have rental reform proposals in which landlords are at risk of losing their fundamental rights to not renew a tenancy agreement at the end of the agreed term and also the ability to refuse pets in their strata rental properties.”
Mr Mifsud has questioned whether the two groups of people behind these two reforms have talked to each other.
“There has also been criticism that the rental reforms could be bad for tenants, with owners withdrawing rental properties and the drop-off in supply, leading to higher rents as well as greater scrutiny of rental applications,” he said.