Renting that works for everyone

Sep 2016

Hundreds of Queenslanders have had their say on housing and renting as part of the Government’s Queensland Housing Strategy consultation that has now closed.

As part of the consultation activities for the Queensland Housing Strategy, the RTA asked the community to voice their thoughts on key issues relating to renting as part of the review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (2008).

The aim was to seek feedback about tenancy laws, security of tenure, notice periods, minimum building standards in rentals, and the private rental market as a long term accommodation option.

The RTA received 227 responses including 22 submissions from organisations.

Tenants made up 51% of those who participated in the survey.

Of the issues canvassed, tenants were particularly interested in maintenance and repairs, notice periods at the end of a fixed term tenancy and security of tenure.

39 percent of all respondents identified repairs and maintenance as the single biggest issue regarding the condition of rental properties.

34 percent of tenants advised they had moved out due to the poor condition of a rental property. Tenants were also concerned with cleanliness at the start of a tenancy and property managers/owners were concerned that tenants did not raise maintenance issues with them.

Notice periods at the end of a fixed-term tenancy proved to be a popular topic among all respondents with 96% answering questions about notice periods.

There were 218 responses (109 tenants, and 107 property managers/owners) on the key issue of whether the current notice periods to end a fixed-term tenancy at the end of the agreement ‘without grounds’ should be changed.

The majority (65%) of all participants said notice periods should be changed. 42 tenants and 92 property managers/owners provided comments with 99 stating that notice periods should be the same for both parties, and 69 of those said 1 month notice should be required for both parties.

Security of tenure was also an important issue for tenants, however many indicated they would prefer shorter tenancies to allow them more flexibility.

Property managers/owners also value the security of longer fixed-term tenancies although some prefer to offer a longer fixed-term after a shorter fixed-term tenancy to ensure the tenants are reliable. Property managers/owners also believe longer fixed-term tenancies reduce the ability for rent to be increased and increase the risk of tenants breaking the lease.

Minimum building standards, pets allowed in rental properties, tenant education, property owner education and the availability of affordable housing were also hot topics.

The RTA is now analysing the information collected during the engagement process. We will continue to work with the sector to discuss options ahead of finalising a report by the end of the year.