What is the new COVID-19 tenancy laws in QLD
By Elsa Hsieh, 7 May 2020
By Elsa Hsieh, 7 May 2020
The Queensland government proposed the 400 million residential tenancies policy in April(Read more).
Most of the owners complained about the policy as they are more in favor of protecting tenants’ interest. With the strong proposal from REIQ and property owners, the new COVID-19 Tenancy Laws were finally announced on 24th April.
The new law offers much protection for those tenants who have been suffered from CONVID-19, providing a framework and clear guideline to assist both tenants and owners to overcome the pandemic.
Here are some key points of the entire residential tenancies policy, for more details please check Residential Tenancies Practice Guide
The eligibility criteria to determine if a person who is a tenant is suffering or has suffered excessive hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency. A tenancy is COVID-19 impacted if:
Many Queensland tenants and property owners are being impacted by COVID-19. Tenants, owners and property managers have to work together to consider and understand each points of view. Tenants could ask for rent reduction by either DEFFERD OR WAIVED, with supported evidence. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement, the matter is referred to the RTA for compulsory conciliation.
Noted: These provisions do not apply if your change in circumstances is not COVID-19 related.
Eligible tenants who need to end their fixed term lease early because of COVID-19 impacts will have their break lease costs capped at the equivalent of one week’s rent, after giving the required notice period to end the tenancy.
The eligible tenants should be: Income has reduced by at least 75% with savings of less than $5,000.
For tenants affected by COVID-19, owners cannot issue Form12 (rent arrears notice) and also unable to list tenants on tenancy database. (But if tenants break the agreement in any other way, owner is allowed to issue rent arrears notice)
This is why the rent reduction must be negotiated so that the owner can still get some rental income during the outbreak.
Fixed term tenancy agreements due to end before 29 September 2020 must be extended to at least 30 September 2020, unless the tenant requests a shorter term.
EXCEPTIONS – Owners could end a tenancy with 2 months’ notice During the COVID-19 emergency period, if:
Tenants may refuse physical entry for non-essential reasons, such as routine inspection, especially if they are subject to a quarantine direction for COVID-19 or if a member of the household is a vulnerable person. But tenants must accept people enter for emergency repairs, and compliance checks.
Tenants experiencing domestic and family violence can:
RTA (住宅租赁管理局) 已经发布了新的租赁文件Form18d-COVID-19 Variation Agreement (表格18d-COVID-19变更协议)，供协商临时租金使用。若双方无法达成协议，將交给RTA进行强制调解。