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The Palaszczuk Government is standing by its proposed rental reforms and setting the record straight on myths surrounding plans to deliver fairness and certainty to Central Queensland’s home rental market.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said more than 135,000 Queenslanders had taken the opportunity to give their feedback on the government’s Open Doors to Renting Reform.
“With any important change like rental reform that the community feels strongly about, myths and inaccuracies can take on a life of their own,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“I’ve heard claims that Rockhampton property owners won’t be able to end a tenancy, but that’s simply not true.
“In fact, the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed rental reforms will help owners by strengthening the legal grounds for not renewing a rental agreement.
“Being unable to refuse a request from a tenant to keep a pet is another myth.
“Despite a multitude of protections built into the proposed rental reforms that allow owners to say no, including the suitability of the property, health and safety and strata rules.
“More than 31 percent of residents in the region rent their home.
“Rents in Central Queensland aren’t likely to rise under the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed reforms with economic analysis showing just 6 percent of the state’s housing stock needs a basic upgrade to meet the minimum standards we all expect.
“The biggest impact on rents is the rule of supply and demand; real estate agents can only charge what the market will pay, and in Rockhampton our vacancy rate is steady at 2 percent.”
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said fears the proposed reforms would give tenants the green light to make major modifications to their rental property were scare mongering.
“Tenants will only be able to make minor changes, such as securing furniture or installing a lock on a door, that can easily be reversed and returned to original condition,” Ms Lauga said.
“The rental reforms proposed by the Palaszczuk Government won’t allow tenants to re-paint the house a bright shade of pink, change the carpets or put in a new air conditioner without the written approval of the owner.
“Nor is there a scrap of evidence to suggest the reforms will see a flight of investors from Central Queensland.
“In Victoria, where similar tenancy reforms were introduced more than two years ago, there hasn’t been a drop in the supply of houses and units for rent.
“The Palaszczuk Government has consulted extensively with the property sector who has indicated comfort with the reforms except for outlawing so-called revenge evictions.
“Central Queensland’s tenants are entitled to feel secure in their homes and we know rental property owners want safeguards to protect their investment.
“We also know the current system as it stands disadvantages both tenants and owners.
“The proposed rental reforms will provide certainty for owners who often lose money when their property has a high turn-over rate and renters who are up for significant financial costs every time they move.”
As a growing state, the Palaszczuk Government is proposing a staged approach to ensure there is a minimum standard of accommodation backed up with new reforms that are fair to tenants and property owner in Queensland.
The Palaszczuk Government is seeking feedback on a Regulatory Impact Statement until December 31, 2019.
Go to: www.qld.gov.au/rentinginqld to read the Better Renting Future Reform Roadmap to have your say on the proposed reforms.