Minimum housing standards for QLD rental property

Queensland proposed legislation change

Click here to review the Parliamentary Committee report - refer from page 35 onwards

Real Estate Excellence members - Receive immediate updates by joining the  Member office private Facebook group (QLD Real Estate Excellence member office staff only)

Update 13th October 4.30pm - After writing to the LNP Opposition Leader, Mr Nichols (refer to notes below), I received a call from his office late this afternoon. The LNP will not be supporting the proposed minimum housing standards currently before QLD Parliament. Refer to page 75 of the following committee report. It will depend on the crossbenches of the QLD Parliament see who they are here as to how they vote. I will be contacting the cross bench in coming days to obtain their policy view and will update accordingly.

Update 10th October 2017 - Qld Parliament is sitting over the next three days. The RTRA Act proposed minimum housing standard laws are number 5 on the current Government agenda. www.parliament.qld.gov.au

Update 12th October 2017 - An email has been sent to Member offices of Real Estate Excellence advising of current situation. Click here to review

Update 13th October 2017 - The bill was not heard and is currently number 2 on the Governent agenda for when they next sit on the 24th October.

I have written to Tim Nichols, the leader of the QLD LNP - email below. I shall advise of the response in due course.

Good morning Mr Nichols, Leader of the LNP Queensland

My name is Stacey Holt and I have a company called Real Estate Excellence (www.realestateexcellence.com.au)

My company focus is on best practice, compliance and risk management services for the QLD and NSW real estate industry.

The reason for my email is to request LNP policy, if available, relating to future rental laws.

As you are aware, the HOUSING LEGISLATION (BUILDING BETTER FUTURES) AMENDMENT BILL is before the Parliament now relating to minimum housing standards. You most likely are also aware of the Green’s policy relating to rental laws https://greens.org.au/qld

Given an election is looming, I am keen to advise my clients and the real estate industry of the LNP policy relating to rental laws in Queensland.

Stacey Holt.

On the 10th August, the industry was advised by Real Estate Excellence  via our mailing list service and via social media, a bill has been introduced into Queensland Parliament to amend the RTRA Act and introduce minimum housing standards. A further email was sent and social media posts were made on the 19th August  regarding the opportunity to have your say about the proposed amendments. (refer to the bottom of this blog post). 

An email template to send to landlords prior to August 28th encouraging submissions is available to member offices of Real Estate Excellence. Members, please email us to receive.

Minimum housing standards for Queensland rental property was first proposed in 2014 and submissions were then called. Click here to read Real Estate Excellence submission from 2014. The submission that will be made in relation to the current amendment, will be very similar to the 2014 submission. Scroll down to review the 2017 submission from Real Estate Excellence. 

The committee that reviewed the minimum standards proposal in 2014 advised the Government to not introduce the laws. Read the committee report here.

 The Government have stated they wish for this bill to be passed by the end of 2017. Read the Housing Minister media release here

Have your say about the Bill

On 10 August 2017, the Hon Michael de Brenni MP, Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Sport introduced the Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Bill 2017 into the Queensland Parliament. In accordance with Standing Order 131, the bill was referred to the Public Works and Utilities Committee for detailed consideration. The committee is due to report by 28 September 2017.

View: Minister’s speech introducing the bill into the Queensland Parliament 

View: Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Bill 2017 

View: Explanatory Notes to the Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Bill 2017https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/TUC/inquiries/current-inquiries/I48HsngBetterFutures?actionId=2

The bill proposes to amend the Housing Act 2003 (Housing Act); Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 (MHRP Act); Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002 (RSA Act); Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (RTRA Act), and Retirement Villages Act 1999 (RV Act).

The explanatory notes provide that the overarching objective of the amendments to these Acts is to ensure fairness and consumer protections for people who are either living in regulated accommodation or considering moving into these types of housing while enabling the continued viability of these industries and sectors.

A summary of the proposed amendments is provided below and further details can be found in the explanatory notes and the bill.

Call for Submissions

The committee invites submissions addressing any aspect of the bill from all interested parties.  

Guidelines for making a submission to a parliamentary committee are available here - Guide to making a submission. Please ensure your submission meets these requirements.

Closing date for written submissions is Monday, 28 August 2017 at 4:00pm

Submissions should be sent to:  

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Committee Secretary

Public Works and Utilities Committee

Parliament House

George Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

Timeline

 

Public briefing:

Wednesday, 23 August 2017 - time and venue to be confirmed

Close of submissions:

Monday, 28 August, 2017 by 4:00pm

Public hearing:

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 - time and venue to be confirmed

Report to be tabled:

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Where possible, records of public proceedings of the committee eg hearings and briefings, will be available at -

View: Parliament TV (live and replay) - http://tv.parliament.qld.gov.au/TV/SearchCommittee/37

View: Transcripts - click on the “related publications” tab above

Email sent to the Committee 20 August 2017 - Real Estate Excellence 

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Committee Secretary

Public Works and Utilities Committee

Parliament House

George Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

 

Dear Committee Secretary 

Thank you for the opportunity to provide the following submission regarding the proposed minimum housing standards bill and review of the RTRA Act. 

The submission provided in 2014  https://app.box.com/s/l1enub11p2xkqnu3wyi6kvqkdpf3kfih  as most of the feedback to provide to the committee now is identical.

I note my error and poor choice of wording, in part, in my 2014 submission regarding the regulations that "may" be introduced as opposed to all being introduced as stated (page 27 of report). Having said above, in time, Governments could introduce as many of the regulations as the committee is aware. 

More detail is required in relation to the proposed regulation, which I understand would become available once the amendment was passed (if passed). It is very difficult for many to provide tangible feedback to what I feel is the most important aspect of this bill,  without knowing the detail and possible intent of what may be regulated. 

Section 185 and 191 of the RTRA Act clearly outline lessor obligations and tenants rights to apply to tribunal for certain matters should the lessor fail in their statutory duty. I again, strongly state, as per my previous 2014 submission, the tenant abilities to take action as referenced in the previous Real Estate Excellence 2014 submission; plus referenced in the tablehttp://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/THLGC/2014/INQ-RTRAA/bp-Sep2014-dept.pdf

 

Please note I will be making this submission public and give consent for the committee to do so if required. 

 

If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know. 

 

Kind regards

 

Stacey Holt  - Company Director

Real Estate Excellence Academy Pty Ltd

www.realestateexcellence.com.au  

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of proposed amendments

The bill proposes to amend the RV Act and the MHRP Act to increase transparency, improve pre-contractual disclosure processes and introduce new behaviour standards in residential parks and retirement villages. A greater focus on dispute resolution is also included to provide an opportunity for issues to be resolved without having to go into a formal tribunal system.

Proposed amendments to the MHRP Act also include limitations on rental increases, prohibiting additional fees around utilities and meter readings and ensuring emergency services and health workers have access to residential parks.

Other proposed amendments to the RV Act will increase transparency in the relationships between operators and residents, and provide greater security to residents, balanced against ongoing industry viability. Greater financial transparency will be required about retirement village funds, budgets and financial statements, and will address resident and consumer advocate concerns about fees and contracts. Residents will also have greater protections around resales and exit entitlements or when there is a change in village operations. 

The proposed amendments to the RSA Act will also ensure the regulatory framework protects residents, promotes fair trading practice and encourages the growth and viability of Queensland’s residential services industry, which includes boarding houses, some aged rental accommodation and services that provide personal care.

The proposed changes are intended to: raise compliance with accreditation standards and registration requirements, ensure that operators are suitable persons and require services to have a fire safety management plan; allow publication of the registered addresses of accredited services to be avoided in cases where safety concerns may arise; and clarify some current uncontentious exemptions from registration requirements.

The RTRA Act amendment will provide a head of power for a regulation to prescribe minimum housing standards for rental accommodation in Queensland.