Queensland’s rental sector will benefit from improved compliance and better renting outcomes for all parties thanks to a suite of new initiatives announced by the Queensland Government.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman and Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said the Government would make it even easier for property managers to meet their legal requirements around lodging rental bonds, and to crack down on illegal rental bond practices.
Minister Fentiman said as part of the new initiatives, the Agents Financial Administration Regulation 2014 (the AFA Regulation) has been amended as a result of collaboration between the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).
“These new changes will make it easier for tenants and agents when it comes to lodging and refunding rental bonds and make the process more transparent for everyone,” Minister Fentiman said.
“We have modernised the process, by allowing agents to now use online payment platforms such as BPAY.
“This will ensure they have no excuse to meet lodgement deadlines and will strengthen compliance within the sector.”
Under Queensland’s renting laws, a tenant can pay their bond directly to the RTA or to the rental property owner/manager, who must then lodge it with the RTA within 10 days.
Minister Enoch said the RTA will launch its new Bulk Bond Lodgement Web Service on 7 December, to allow joint lessors and managing parties working on behalf of an organisation to lodge multiple bonds and bond increases in one online transaction, via BPAY.
“The RTA’s new Bulk Bond Lodgement Web Service provides a more convenient, digital way for managing parties to lodge and pay for rental bonds in bulk with the RTA, making it even easier for those who manage multiple tenancies to ensure they lodge bonds on time in accordance with Queensland’s renting laws,” Minister Enoch said.
“The Bulk Bond Lodgement Web Service complements the single Bond Lodgement Web Service that is already available for tenants, property owners and managers.
“With the introduction of a new service to support lodging bonds in bulk, there is simply no excuse for a property owner or manager to miss the 10-day deadline for lodging rental bonds with the RTA.”
Minister Fentiman and Minister Enoch also confirmed a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and RTA that will see both agencies join forces to investigate property managers who break the laws on lodging bonds with the RTA.
Minister Enoch said the partnership would help ensure licensed property managers meet their legal obligation of lodging bonds with the RTA within 10 days of receiving payment from the tenant.
“We know the vast majority of agents do the right thing, but there are still cases where tenants’ bonds are being lodged late, or not at all, and it’s not good enough,” said Minister Enoch.
“By joining forces with the OFT to investigate agents who don’t lodge bonds on time or at all, the RTA is protecting tenants’ rights and providing assurance that their rental bond will be safeguarded for the duration of their tenancy.
“This is great news for the 1.8 million Queenslanders who rent across the state.”