FROM THE REAL ESTATE INSTITUTE OF QUEENSLAND
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) expects the ripple effect of the most significant rental legislative reforms in more than a decade will start to be felt by the community, with less than three months until the new laws come into effect on 1 October 2022.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the State peak body was readying property managers for the changes to the legislation governing residential tenancies in Queensland so they were prepared to help property owners and tenants navigate the new legislative landscape.
Ms Mercorella said one of the more damaging legislative changes was the removal of the right for property owners to end a periodic tenancy simply by providing notice.
“When these laws were passed, we warned they could effectively spell the end of periodic tenancies in Queensland,” Ms Mercorella said.
“Our best practice advice for property managers is to start talking to their clients now about the risk of a ‘never-ending tenancy’ if they don’t transition periodic tenancies to fixed-term tenancies ahead of the new laws.
“We wouldn’t be surprised if periodic leases become extremely rare if not extinct in Queensland, which is a shame given the flexibility it offers both tenants and lessors.”
Ms Mercorella said property managers were also preparing for a potential influx of tenants seeking approval for pets, given owners could only decline if they can establish prescribed grounds.
“We recognise that pets are often a beloved family member, but equally appreciate that not all property owners feel comfortable with the potential risk of pet damage to their property and its value,” she said.
“Previously property owners could choose to simply say ’no’ to pets in their property, but with these new laws, property owners will have limited grounds to refuse a pet request.
“While it’s a silver lining that property owners will gain the ability to impose certain conditions in relation to the approval of a pet in their property, and be able to seek compensation for damage caused by pets, only time will tell if this change will shrink the rental pool if investors tap out.”
She said heavy-handed legislative reform that disrupts the delicate balance of contractual rights between tenants and property owners can have unintended consequences for the entire rental market.
“While we understand that there needs to be protections available for tenants, finding the right balance is important, because we do heavily rely on private investors when it comes to housing Queenslanders.”