Tenants Queensland and QCOSS have jointly welcomed the package of tenancy reforms announced today by Premier Steven Miles as a promising step towards improving the lives of Queenslanders living with rental insecurity.

The package is a positive sign that the Miles Government has listened to the pleas of Queensland’s renters and that it will continue to take seriously the plight of those burdened with insecure tenancies amid a cost-of-living crisis.

TQ CEO Penny Carr championed the three years of campaigning by Make Renting Fair in Queensland supporters which led to today’s announcement.

Carr said, “we particularly applaud the introduction of the following measures that will make a real difference in the lives of Queensland renters:
• Changes to bond returns including the introduction of a portable bond scheme,
• Putting an end to rent bidding,
• Making it easier for renters to undertake the minor modifications that address their needs,
• Introducing a rental code of conduct, and
• Improving privacy protections by limiting what rental applicants can be asked and creating limits on when and what personal information can be retained by agent and landlords”.

QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh welcomed the focus on Supporting Queensland Renters in the Queensland Government’s forthcoming Homes for Queenslanders plan.

“Queenslanders should be able to afford the basics, including keeping a roof over their head, which is why a focus on renters is a must for any credible housing plan.

“Closing loopholes to ensure rent can only be increased once a year will provide some comfort to renters,” McVeigh said.

However, TQ and QCOSS remain concerned that arbitrary evictions and rental increases have not yet been addressed.

“Right now, tenants can be evicted from their home for no reason at the end of a lease and there is nothing to stop rent increasing arbitrarily,” Carr warned.

McVeigh stressed the importance of the situation to Queensland’s social service workers, saying “our own workforce is struggling to pay the rent, with renting in Queensland becoming unaffordable for frontline disability, aged, and childcare workers.

“The Queensland Government can, and should, stop these erratic and unaffordable rent increases,” McVeigh said.

Tenants Queensland and QCOSS want to see the State Government pass legislation, and implement reforms for renters, as soon as possible saying, “both landlords and tenants need stability.”

They are also calling on the LNP to support the changes.

4 February 2024