The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) and Department of Justice and Attorney-General have formalised their existing partnership to drive compliance and tackle offences within the residential rental sector.
RTA Chief Executive Officer Darren Barlow and Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Executive Director Brian Bauer signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 20 December to bolster communication and collaboration between the two organisations.
The MOU facilitates the exchange of information where appropriate, to assist investigations into breaches of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming and Accommodation Act 2008 (RTRA Act).
The RTRA Act outlines the rights and obligations of tenants, property owners and managers, and is administered by the RTA. Common breaches include non-lodgement of bonds and failing to issue receipts, tenancy agreements or other mandatory documentation.
The Property Occupations Act 2014, the Agents Financial Administrations Act 2014 and the Fair Trading Act 1989 (incorporating the Australian Consumer Law) administered by the OFT, encompass regulation of property agents and the residential property marketplace.
Together, the Acts regulate residential renting in Queensland.
"Both the RTA and OFT recognise that mutual communication, cooperation, and coordination will maximise the effective and consistent implementation of legislation," Mr Barlow said.
"With the MOU in place, we will continue working toward the common goal of ensuring the rental market is fair for everyone."
Mr Bauer reiterated Mr Barlow’s comments and added:
"The RTA and the Office of Fair Trading work on similar parameters but in different domains of the residential rental landscape. Non-compliance by a person or organisation in the rental sector often identifies non-compliance in other areas that can also be addressed," Mr Bauer said.
Plans include the development of joint education and training practices to encourage compliance by tenants, property owners and managers.