If you are a property manager, landlord or tenant in Queensland, you only have until the end of the month to have your say on proposed reforms to the state’s 40-year old residential tenancy laws.
With more than a third of Queenslander’s living in rental properties and stories emerging in the media about potentially serious safety and health concerns in some rental properties (click here for a recent example), Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the reform can’t come soon enough.
Speaking to a Brisbane Times Reporter, Ms Palaszczuk said, “The last full-scale review and changes to the tenancy regulations dates back to 1970’s. It’s well and truly time for another now.”
The reform aims to address a number of issues and concerns, including renting with pets, flexibility and security and, crucially, minimum housing standards. A 2017 survey by Choice, National Shelter, and the National Association of Tenant Organisations showed that two of the top concerns of tenants are waiting for urgent repairs to be done and living in a home with maintenance issues.
It’s not just tenants concerned about minimum housing standards. Property owners have also expressed concern over a lack of regular inspections and a failure to attend to repairs in a timely manner. So it is important to note that these reforms focus on the rights of both tenants and landlords while also mitigating risk for property managers and real estate agencies.
As the leading national safety inspection platform for rental properties, we were invited to meet with Cameron Mitchell, Policy Advisor for the Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick De Brenni last week to discuss and demonstrate how we could help address the issues relating to the condition of the property.
We were able to show the Ministers Office some alarming statistics. For instance, of 40,000 rental properties inspected nationally by PropertySafe inspectors, 99.1% had at least one safety issue and 76.7% had at least one major safety hazard that could cause severe injury, illness or death. The good news in those cases is that the issues were identified quickly and brought to the immediate attention of landlords and their property managers to be resolved. Unfortunately under the current system, not everyone has that benefit.
At PropertySafe we believe everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Furthermore, we believe property owners deserve to know if there is a safety issue in their property and every property manager and principal should be protected from the real risk of litigation should something go wrong in a property they are managing. The Queensland Government is to be congratulated for seeking to address these issues and we hope it won’t be long before a consistent approach to safety is adopted Australia-wide.