Residential tenants will be well served if the Queensland Government proceeds with current recommendations on tenancy laws which take positive steps towards safer and more equitable rental housing for Queenslanders.
The removal of the option for landlords to end tenancies without reason would help to protect children and families in residential tenancies from instability and financial stress.
Proposed introduction of minimum standards for rental properties, together with the strengthening of repair and maintenance obligations of lessors, would help to ensure that only properties containing safe, healthy and fully functioning utilities are leased. It should be unlawful for lessors to rent out a property until orders for repairs have been satisfied.
Caxton Legal Centre strongly supports new law that make it easier for everyone to have a pet. While assistance animals are permitted in all types of accommodation, currently pets are only allowed in rental accommodation with permission from the landlord. Making it easier to have a pet in rental accommodation brings renters one step closer to enjoying a similar quality of life to homeowners.
The pet bond proposed by the Queensland Government is problematic. Tenants already pay bonds and, presumably, in existing tenancy situations where pets are already permitted to live in residences, the bond is sufficient to cover any issues requiring remediation.
Proposed reform to hasten and increase options for people experiencing domestic and family violence are also welcomed. The reforms are equally important for seniors experiencing elder abuse in family contexts.
For over four decades, Caxton Legal Centre Inc. (Caxton) has provided free legal advice and has participated in public discourse, community education and law reform activities regarding key areas of law affecting Caxton’s clients. Right from the first year of Caxton’s establishment, tenancy law and renters’ rights have been key issues regularly raised by our diverse and generally vulnerable/disadvantaged client group.
Caxton Legal Centre’s full submission to Queensland’s renting reform consultation process will be available shortly.