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Greens call for renters rights after landlord charged in relation to fire deaths


The owner of the Russell Island property where father Wayne Godinet and his five children died in a house fire has been charged for a failure to install fire alarms. She faces a maximum fine of $770.

Smoke alarms are required to be installed in all Queensland rental properties since 2022.

The Greens have long proposed an end to no grounds evictions, including at the end of leases, so that renters can assert their rights and make complaints about a failure to meet minimum standards without fear of reprisals. Queensland Labor claims it has “ended” no grounds evictions, while actually legislating new grounds for eviction, including at the end of a lease. 

Quotes attributable to Greens MP Michael Berkman: 

“This tragic incident shows the importance of properly enforced minimum standards and an end to no grounds evictions in rental properties. 

“Renters need to be able to enforce minimum standards without fear that they’ll be booted from their homes, yet this Government refuses to end no grounds evictions.

“Landlords shouldn’t be able to refuse a lease renewal and evict tenants without a proper reason because we know this is preventing tenants from asserting their rights.

“Would Mr Godinet have asked his landlord to install fire alarms if there were laws guaranteeing him a right to lease renewal and protecting him against no-grounds evictions? Tragically we may now never know the answer, but what every renter does know is what it’s like to weigh up the risk of asserting your rights against the possibility of losing your home.”

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