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New residential tenancy reforms in Queensland

08 November 2022

4 min read

#Property, Planning & Development

Published by:

Vivien Chang

New residential tenancy reforms in Queensland

As part of Queensland’s rental law reform, landlords are now required to comply with new obligations when ending tenancies, reviewing pet applications and responding to repair orders. These measures follow changes made under the Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (Qld) (HLAA) on 1 October 2022.

The HLAA amends a number of regulations, including the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) (RTRAA), Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009 (Qld) (Regulations) and the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 (Qld) (COVID Regulations).

The amendments aim to balance the rights and interests of property owners and tenants by improving security, certainty and transparency in the Queensland rental market. However, the changes are not without controversy, with landlord groups in particular believing these additional obligations will discourage residential property investors.

Ending tenancy agreements

Property owners

The most significant change for property owners is that the RTRAA will no longer allow the option to end a tenancy agreement ‘without grounds’. The ability for property owners to end a periodic tenancy is more difficult as notice stipulating proper grounds for termination are required. Fixed term agreements may be terminated if the notice given relates to the end of the agreement.

Furthermore, the HLAA introduces new grounds for property owners and tenants to end tenancies. These changes ensure a property owner or manager cannot end tenancies without approved grounds.

Property owners can end a tenancy under these new grounds:

  • end of a fixed term agreement
  • the property is being prepared for sale, or being sold with vacant possession
  • the owner or their relative is moving in
  • change in how the property is used
  • property is undergoing significant repairs or re-development
  • property is being demolished.

Property owners must provide appropriate notice periods when ending tenancy agreements. The new grounds require two months’ notice and not before the end of the fixed term tenancy agreement.


Tenants can continue to end an agreement ‘without grounds’.

The HLAA also provides new reasons to end tenancies:

  • the property is not in a good state of repair
  • the owner has failed to comply with a repair order
  • the co-tenant passes away.

Framework for renting with pets

The Residential Tenancies Authority has introduced a new form for tenants to request approval to have a pet. This only applies to tenants and property owners in existing tenancy agreements. Tenants must submit the form to the property owner to keep their pets.

The owner must respond in 14 days and specify reasons for approving or rejecting the application. Consent is implied if a response is not given.

If approved, the owners may set reasonable conditions for keeping the pet. This may include:

  • for the tenant to arrange professional fumigation of the property at the end of their tenancy if the pet is capable of carrying parasites.

If refused, the owner must specify on identified reasonable grounds. This may include:

  • keeping the pet would exceed a reasonable number of animals being kept at the premises
  • the premises are unsuitable for keeping the pet because of a lack of appropriate fencing, open space or another item necessary to humanely accommodate the pet
  • keeping the pet is likely to cause damage to the premises and, in addition, could or would likely result in damage that could not practically be repaired for a cost less than the rental bond for the premises
  • keeping the pet would pose an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of a person, including, for example, because the pet is venomous
  • keeping the pet would contravene a law
  • keeping the pet would contravene a body corporate by-law, house rules or park rules applying to the premises
  • the tenant has not agreed to the reasonable conditions proposed by the lessor for approval to keep the pet
  • the animal stated in the request is not a pet
  • if the premises is a moveable dwelling premises, keeping the pet would contravene a condition of a licence applying to the premises.

Repair orders

If routine or emergency repairs are not addressed within a reasonable timeframe, tenants are given the option to apply for a repair order from the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). If the due date of the repair order has expired without repairs being done, the tenant may give notice of intention to leave the property.

Repair orders continue to apply to the premises and not the tenancy, therefore the property owner must comply with the order despite the tenant moving out. The owner may apply for a time extension to QCAT before the due date of the repair order. These may include any of the following reasons:

  • hardship
  • shortage of materials necessary to make the repairs
  • remote location of the premises causes difficulty in accessing a material or qualified person necessary to make the repairs.

If you have any questions about how these changes affect you or your existing agreements, please contact us below or send us your enquiry here.

Authors: Ranjit Singh, Marsha Klipp & Vivien Chang

The information in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

Published by:

Vivien Chang

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