Other rental sector improvements

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024 received Assent on 6 June 2024. Changes to the law will come into effect in stages. Current rental laws apply until the changes come into effect.

Read more about changes to Queensland’s rental laws.

Domestic and family violence protections

The new laws clarify that a co-renter may apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for an order to be recognised as the sole renter if another person in their household – with whom they have an intimate, family or informal care relationship – has perpetrated domestic and family violence.

This reform makes it easier for renters who are experiencing domestic and family violence to stay in their rental home if they wish.

The new laws also prohibit rental property owners and property managers from disclosing any personal information about vacating renters who are experiencing domestic and family violence, including any evidence that supports a notice ending the tenancy.

This reform reassures renters experiencing domestic and family violence that sensitive information that could affect their safety will not be disclosed, such as their contact details, new address or intention to leave the rental property. It came into effect on 6 June 2024.

Greater clarity about ending a short tenancy

This reform applies to moveable dwellings (i.e. caravans) that are not being used for holiday accommodation. Parties may enter a short tenancy (moveable dwelling) for up to 42 days and can extend this period up to a further 42 days.

However, unlike other tenancy agreements, the RTRA Act previously did not set out how to end a short tenancy, which created uncertainty.

The new laws introduce a formal process for ending short tenancies, by allowing:

  • rental property owners or managers to issue a Notice to Leave for end of short tenancy (moveable dwelling), with a minimum notice period of 2 days
  • renters to issue a Notice of Intention to Leave for end of short tenancy (moveable dwelling), with a minimum notice period of 1 day.

A notice ends the agreement on the last day of the agreed short tenancy period or extended period if the parties agree to an extension.

This clarifies how each party can end a short tenancy (moveable dwellings), and provides more certainty for both parties.

This reform came into effect on 6 June 2024.

Protections for rooming accommodation residents

Residents in rooming accommodation are often vulnerable or disadvantaged. An existing requirement under the RTRA Act, is that providers and owners must:

  • enter into rooming accommodation agreements with residents in writing
  • specify the amount of rent attributable to accommodation, a food service, a personal care service or another service.

The new laws increase the penalties for breaching this requirement to strengthen protections for rooming accommodation residents.

Previously, providers and owners who wanted to enter rooming accommodation to install, maintain or replace smoke alarms were required to negotiate with individual residents who could refuse entry.

The new laws establish a new ground to enter rooming accommodation to install, maintain or replace a smoke alarm. A similar ground already exists for residential tenancy agreements. This increases the safety of rooming accommodation residents.

These reforms came into effect on 6 June 2024.

Residential Tenancies Authority operational improvements

The RTRA Act currently allows the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) to disclose information about renters and property owners in very limited circumstances.

The new laws will allow the RTA to share information with particular government entities. This will enable:

  • the RTA and the Office of Fair Trading to collaborate on enforcement matters and conduct joint investigations
  • the RTA to collaborate with the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works to administer bond loans.

The RTA will also be permitted to release confidential information about renters or property owners if it is reasonably necessary to prevent a serious risk to public safety. The definition of ‘confidential information’ will be updated to be consistent with other legislation.

The requirement to publish auctions for abandoned goods in a newspaper will be replaced by a requirement to make reasonable efforts to contact the owner of the goods, such as by phone, email, social media message, emergency contact listed on a tenancy agreement or online newspaper advertisement.

These reforms will assist in keeping Queensland’s rental laws modern. They will commence on a date to be fixed by Proclamation.

Find out more