The rental sector is changing. In the 10 years prior to 2016, the number of renters in Australia grew by 38% - that’s twice the rate of household growth! For many, home ownership is increasingly out of reach, so it's no surprise that the renting demographic is growing and shifting. An ever growing population of people, including families, are choosing renting as a long term housing solution. Despite this, the current law in Queensland prevents renters from establishing roots in their home. No access to long term leases means creating community and finding housing security are constant challenges for many renters. It’s grim for landlords too!
All too often we see shoddy maintenance jobs and low living standards in rental properties. What’s more, the rent is too damn high! In every single major population centre in Queensland rents have grown faster than median wages over the last 10 years. To make matters worse, current laws mean tenants are vulnerable to unregulated rent increases at the end of every fixed term lease.
So what do we want?
- Lease security: All tenants will have access to unlimited leases, which can only be terminated with 12 months’ notice by the landlord, and only on reasonable grounds.
- Rent controls: Landlords may only increase rents every 24 months outside of fixed term leases and only by a rate as determined by the Residential Tenancy Authority (RTA).
- Right to minor renovations: Tenants will be given the right to make minor renovations to their property without permission from the landlord, including putting nails in the wall, painting rooms or putting up shelving.
- Minimum standards: Landlords will be required to maintain a property to a certain set of specific minimum standards prior to and during the tenancy.
- Ban No Pet clauses: Tenants will have the right to have a pet in their rental property and landlords will be prohibited from including any sort of ‘no-pet’ clause in lease contracts.
These policies have already been implemented throughout the world, in places like Berlin, Paris, Sweden, Tasmania, The Netherlands and Italy.
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