Queensland property owners might need to accept tenants with pets, and also allow them to repair their rented homes, as the state government began to take concrete steps to implement reforms to residential tenancy laws.
As part of the initial move, feedback will be sought from renters, landlords and real estate agents. This will form part of the Palaszczuk Governments ‘Open Doors to Renting Reform’ consultation process announced less than a month ago.
ABC reported that the government is assessing how its 40-year-old renting laws can be altered in such a way it will be easier for renters to have pets and have repairs done quickly. Consequently, part of the planned reform will property owners to charge for repairs that are not covered by rental bonds.
Queensland has one of the highest proportions of rentals in the country, as it makes up more than a third of all households renting.
It was also found that lot of residents are renting for long period of time, with 43% of Queensland tenants renting for over a decade.
Housing Minister Mick de Brenni was quick to address property investors, noting that they should not be alarmed.
"These tenancy laws are ripe for reform," he said.
"So what we really want to get to is the nub of how we can make renting fairer for everybody.”
Why push to allow pets in rented places?
de Brenni revealed that Queenslanders have long been pushing for pets to be permitted in rental properties.
This is especially important for Australians as Aussies have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. While 62% of households across the state have a pet, only 10% accounted for those who are living in rental properties.
de Brenni said that while landlords still need to issue a consent, they cannot refuse the request except for special cases. The landlord will have to secure approval to decline consent to a pet, once the request from the renter has been received.
"Pets are part of our families,” de Brenni quipped.
Well-managed properties for renters
de Brenni also pointed out that renters have been encountering maintenance issues, including leaky taps and broken windows
"Many tenants have raised with me that it is difficult to hang your kids' school photos or paintings on the wall in rental properties," he added.
The changes in ruling when it comes to repairs in rented properties are important inasmuch as tenants need a decent standard of living and well-managed properties.
Property owners have wanted to conduct regular inspections to properties to repair things quickly and to ensure that their investments are protected, but tenants feel that their privacy is obstructed with such practice.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said that reforms were “long overdue,” citing that 123% increase in the number of rental properties observed In South Brisbane.
An online survey is open for three months to give the public the opportunity to comment and give suggestions to the government.
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