Alright, property managers. Brace yourselves for some big changes to rental laws coming down the pipeline this month of June 2024. Stage 2 reforms are set to shake things up in a major way for lessors and property managers across the board. We’re talking new rules around rental pricing, rent increases, tenant privacy, documentation, and plenty more areas of rental management. While some of the upcoming laws may cause headaches at first, reviewing your processes now will save you from nasty fines down the track. We’ll break down the key reforms you must get across if you want to stay on the right side of the law. Think carefully about how you handle rental applications, bond claims, and rent increases over the next 12 months. We’ve got the full low-down on what’s changing so you can stay compliant. Let’s dive in.

Key Changes in the New Rental Laws Commencing June 2024

Rent Increase Restrictions
The new laws will prohibit rent increases within the first 12 months of a tenant’s occupancy. This applies regardless of whether the property has changed ownership or management in that time. Rent can only be increased from the last increase date, so property managers will need to verify and keep records of previous increases.
 
Additional Documentation Required
Property managers may need to provide additional documentation to tenants upon request, such as records of the last rent increase. They will also need to provide evidence to substantiate any bond claims within 14 days.
 
Limitations on Application Information
Property managers will only be able to request limited information from tenants in rental applications. They will need to revise their application forms and processes to comply with the new requirements.
 
Fee-Free Rent Payment Methods
Lessors will need to provide at least one fee-free rent payment method to tenants, such as direct deposit. Property managers should set up the necessary arrangements with their financial institutions and advise tenants of the available options.
 
Extended Notice Periods
The notice period for property inspections and entry will increase from 24 to 48 hours. Property managers will need to ensure they provide adequate notice to tenants for any inspections or repairs. After issuing a notice to leave, property managers are also limited to a maximum of two entries per week.
 
Harsher Penalties
Heavy penalties of up to $7,000 per infringement will apply for non-compliance with the new laws. Property managers should review all processes and documentation to ensure they meet the new requirements and train staff on the changes to avoid any breaches.
 
The wide-ranging reforms aim to increase stability and affordability for tenants in Queensland. Property managers will need to make adjustments to comply with the new laws coming into effect in June 2024. Close review of the legislation and early preparation will help ensure a smooth transition for property managers and lessors.
 
What Property Managers Need to Know About Rent Increases
Come June 6th, property managers will need to carefully review rent increase processes to ensure compliance with the new laws. The most significant change is that rent cannot be increased within 12 months of the last increase. This applies even if there is a change in tenant or lessor during that time. Rent increases must be calculated from the date of the previous increase.
To comply, you’ll need records showing when the last increase occurred for each property. Should an increase be required within 12 months due to hardship, an application must be submitted to QCAT.
 
Rent Above Advertised Price No Longer Accepted
You can no longer accept an offer from a tenant to pay rent above the advertised price. This aims to make the application process fairer and more transparent.
 
Advance Rent Payments Limited to One Month
Tenants can no longer offer to pay more than one month’s rent in advance. This protects tenants from being taken advantage of if a lessor requests several months of rent upfront.
 
Confidentiality Requirements Extended
The confidentiality requirements for tenants experiencing domestic violence have been expanded. Property managers must be extremely careful not to disclose any details that could identify or endanger a tenant.
 
Heavy Penalties for Non-Compliance
Some of the new laws carry hefty penalties of up to $7,000 per infringement. It’s crucial that property managers review all processes and documentation to ensure full compliance. Failure to do so could be very costly.
The next stage of reforms, including limits on application questions and requirements to provide fee-free payment methods, will commence later in 2024. Property managers should start preparing now to ensure a smooth transition. With diligent reviews and updates to procedures, the new laws aim to create a fairer and more balanced rental sector for all.
 

Updating Processes to Comply With the New Legislation

The upcoming changes to the Residential Tenancies Act are substantial and will significantly impact the way you manage rental properties. As a property manager, you’ll need to review and update your processes to ensure compliance with the new legislation.
 
Accepting Applications and Increasing Rent
You can no longer accept rental applications or offers to pay above the advertised rent price. Rent also cannot be increased within 12 months of the last increase. This applies even if there is a change of tenant or property manager during that time. You will need to check when the last rent increase occurred and provide evidence to tenants upon request. If not increasing rent would cause undue hardship, you can apply to QCAT for an order allowing an increase.
 
Tightened Requirements
Confidentiality requirements for domestic violence situations are expanding. Penalties of up to $7,000 per infringement will apply for breaching the new laws. You will need to limit the information requested on applications and have stronger identity verification procedures. At least one free rent payment option must be provided. You will have only 14 days to substantiate any bond claims, and tenants may seek bond refunds in some circumstances.
 
Additional Responsibilities
You must provide utility bills within 4 weeks (unless for end-of-tenancy water charges). Entry notice periods increase to 48 hours, and entries are limited to twice weekly after issuing notices to remedy. You will need to review and update your processes for renewing tenancies and handling notices.
The next round of changes will require even more significant updates. Preparing now by reviewing the legislation and adapting your procedures will help ensure a smooth transition for your business and tenants when the new laws take effect in June 2024. Careful compliance and transparency will be key to avoiding penalties and maintaining good relationships with your tenants.
 

Heavy Penalties for Non-Compliance

If property managers and landlords do not comply with the new rental laws by the commencement date, hefty penalties apply. The government is cracking down on those who try to take advantage of tenants or overlook the reforms. Staying up to date with the changes and adjusting practices accordingly is critical.
 
Excessive Rent Increases
Increasing rent within 12 months of the last increase or above the advertised price can lead to fines of $7,000 per offence. Ensure rent increases are calculated correctly from the date of the last increase, not the commencement of the new laws. If the date of the last increase is unknown, request evidence from the tenant or previous property manager. The only exception is if the lessor can prove undue hardship by applying to QCAT.
 
Limited Rent Payment Methods
At least one fee-free rent payment option must be provided to tenants, e.g. direct bank transfer. If a lessor refuses other payment methods like Centrepay or BPAY and penalties may apply. Review available payment methods and include the fee-free options in tenancy agreements and on websites or listings.
 
Excessive Information Requests
Asking tenants for more information than is reasonably required as part of a rental application will not be tolerated. Only request information directly related to a tenant’s ability to afford and maintain a tenancy. Additional details about relationships, health conditions, or other private matters are prohibited. Fines for breaching a tenant’s confidentiality or requesting excessive personal details start at $7,000.
 
Entry Notice Periods
The notice period for entering a rented property has increased to 48 hours, except in emergencies. Entering more frequently than twice per week after serving notices to remedy breaches or vacate can result in penalties. Carefully check requirements for entry and schedule inspections or repairs within the allowed timeframes to avoid issues.
With significant penalties and a crackdown on non-compliance, property managers must review policies and procedures to ensure full understanding and implementation of the new rental laws. Complying with the reforms protects lessors, property managers and tenants, providing more transparency and security for all parties. Failing to do so can lead to hefty fines, damage to reputation, and legal trouble.
 

Stage 2 Reforms: What’s Coming Next for Property Managers

Limited tenant information
When the second part of the reforms come into effect, property managers will only be allowed to request limited information from tenants in their rental applications. Gone are the days of requiring details like bank statements, tax returns or personal references. This aims to prevent discrimination against tenants and protect their privacy. As a PM, you’ll need to revise your application forms to comply with the new rules.
 
New ID requirements
There will also be new identity verification requirements for tenants. Applicants will need to provide documents like driver’s licenses, passports or proof of age cards. This helps ensure the tenant is who they say they are and that the information provided is accurate. As a PM, you’ll be responsible for sighting and verifying these documents.
 
Fee-free rent payment
Lessors will be required to offer at least one fee-free method for tenants to pay rent. This could be direct debit, bank transfer or cheque. The goal is to prevent exploitation of tenants through excessive fees. If you currently only accept rent payments that incur charges, such as credit cards, you’ll need to implement a fee-free option for your tenants.
 
Evidence for bond claims
If making a claim against a tenant’s bond, lessors will need to provide evidence to support it within 14 days. This includes items like invoices, quotes, photos or other documents. Failure to provide evidence could result in the claim being denied and the full bond refunded to the tenant. As a PM, ensure you have a process in place to gather and submit the necessary evidence within the required timeframe.
 
The final set of reforms aim to rebalance the power between tenants and lessors, providing more protections and rights for renters. As the laws come into effect, property managers must review their practices and make necessary changes to ensure compliance. Those who fail to do so risk facing heavy penalties. By staying up to date with the changes, PMs can continue to operate successfully while safeguarding the rights of both tenants and lessors.
 
So there you have it – some pretty big changes that will impact how you manage your rental properties. The first set of reforms kick off on June 6th, so be sure to review your processes and get up to speed on what you can and can’t do when it comes to rent, applications, and renewals. There are some hefty penalties for getting it wrong, so take the time to get your head around the new rules. The second stage of reforms will change things up even more when they come into play down the track. For now, focus on nailing the first set of changes first. We’ll all be learning as we go, but preparation is key. Stay tuned for more updates as the new laws roll out. This is an exciting time for reform in the rental sector. Approach the changes with an open mind and positive attitude – they are designed to help balance the playing field for renters and property managers alike. We’ve got this!

Bella