Rent-bidding ban, ID protections in housing reforms - triSearch

Rent-bidding ban, ID protections in housing reforms

By: Fraser Barton

A peak real estate body has accused the Queensland government of going too far with sweeping rental reforms, saying they diminish a property owner’s rights.

Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon introduced a bill on Thursday that will establish a code of conduct for the rental sector, ban rent bidding and increase ID protections.

It also puts the onus on owners and property managers when it comes to bond claims, and attaches a 12-month limit on rent increases to the property instead of to a tenancy.

Meaghan Scanlon
Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon introduced a bill containing a raft of rental reforms to parliament (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)
Property agents will be bound by a legislative framework for mandatory continuing professional development (CPD), under the reforms.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) openly supports mandatory CPD, having advocated for its introduction for over a decade.

However the peak body believes the government has overstepped in its stage two reforms, saying they affect a property owner’s rights and decision-making powers.

Stage one reforms in 2021 ended without-grounds evictions, strengthened protections for renters against evictions and rent increases, and set minimum housing standards.

“We think that the government has gone too far with its legislative reform agenda,” REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella told AAP.

“They are very much focused on tenants’ rights.

“But at the same time they are focused on diminishing the decision-making power and rights of property owners and that to us is concerning.”

Ms Mercorella said a decision to apply rent increase limits to a property, rather than a tenancy agreement, will have impractical consequences.

Under the reforms, tenants will also be allowed to request structural changes to a property and owners will be compelled to respond under new timeframes.

“There will be limitations on their ability to say no to those particular requests,” said Ms Mercorella.

“And so what we’re seeing here is really quite significant changes to the way that tenancy relationships have historically worked.”

The housing minister said the bill specifically establishes a framework for renters and property owners to negotiate modifications to rental properties that are necessary for a renter’s safety, security or accessibility.

“Some renters expressed frustration with how difficult it can be to get property owners to agree to or even respond to requests for changes, like the installation of disability modifications that would allow them to continue living in their home and the community,” Ms Scanlon told parliament on Thursday.

She said the government will work closely with the residential sector and peak bodies to ensure a clear negotiation process for modifications.ocial housing.

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