Minimum Housing Standards

New Minimum Housing Standards put landlords at risk legal and financial consequences if their property is not up to scratch


Here’s a quick update on how the new ‘Minimum Housing Standards’ will affect you as a landlord. 


On 01 September 2033 the Queensland Government has enacted rental law reforms to create a better renting future for Queenslanders.

We are told that these changes aim to strike a balance between protecting landlords and renters while enhancing the quality of rental properties and improving the stability of the rental market in Queensland. 

 

The new standards apply to all types of tenancies, including general residential (like yours), moveable dwellings, and rooming accommodation agreements. The changes apply to new leases from 01 Sep 2023 and existing leases from 01 Sep 2024

 

Rental properties must now comply with the following ‘Minimum Housing Standards’ when a new lease is entered into;

 

Rent Increases

  • Rent increases are limited to once every 12 months for all new and existing tenancies starting from July 1, 2023. 

 

Safety and Security: 

  • Rental properties must be weatherproof and structurally sound, with roofing and windows preventing water entry and no risk of structural collapse due to defects.

  • Fixtures and fittings should not pose injury risks. Adequate locks on external doors and windows are required.

  • The property must be free from vermin, damp, and mould (unless caused by the tenant), and privacy coverings are necessary in rooms where privacy is expected. 

Reasonable Functionality: 

  • The property should have sufficient plumbing, flushable toilets,  a hot and cold water supply suitable for drinking.

  • Privacy in bathroom areas, and a functioning cooktop if a kitchen is provided.

  • Laundry facilities should include tap fixtures and plumbing. 

 

Tenants have several options if their rental property doesn’t meet these standards: 

Option 1: If the property doesn’t meet the standards within the first seven days of occupancy, tenants can end the tenancy, providing at least 14 days notice.

Option 2: Tenants can apply for a QCAT termination order within the first three months if they believe the property manager/owner provided false or misleading information about the property’s condition.

Option 3: Repairs needed to meet minimum housing standards will be classified as emergency repairs, allowing tenants to follow the emergency repair process.

Option 4: Tenants can make an urgent application to QCAT for a repair order if the property doesn’t meet minimum standards and repairs aren’t made promptly.

Option 5: Tenants can request free RTA dispute resolution about making repairs before going to QCAT. If tenant actions cause the property to fail minimum housing standards, they may be responsible for repairs. 

 

Tenant Responsibilities:

● Tenants are responsible for maintaining the property’s cleanliness and ensuring they do not intentionally damage it.

Landlord Authority:

● If the property’s condition deteriorates due to tenant actions, the property manager/owner can issue a Notice to Remedy Breach and potentially charge the tenant for necessary repairs.

 

Please dont panic! We are here to help. As your property manager, I’m dedicated to providing excellent service for landlords. I’ll keep you informed about repairs and maintenance and make recommendations to ensure your rental property meets the new standards. As always, the final decision will be yours though.

 

Let’s work together to minimise the downside risk and improve the financial returns along the way. 

 

For more details and updates on Queensland’s rental law reform, please visit the official source:

https://www.housing.qld.gov.au/about/initiatives/rental-law-reform

qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-08/Fact-sheet-minimum-housing-standards-general-tenancies.pdf

 

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