Rental action promised after flood of complaints




THE Palaszczuk Government has promised to consult more widely on its proposed rental protections after a stinging campaign by landlords delivered thousands of angry letters to the Premier's office in just one day.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad on Thursday revealed she had not yet seen draft legislation meant to be tabled in parliament next Wednesday when asked for details around which tenants would qualify for protections that will see a moratorium on evictions.

It came as Housing Minister Mick de Brenni issued a lengthy statement promising to "continue to listen and work with stakeholders" and ensure any concerns were resolved before parliament considered the package.

He also undertook to publish Guidelines for Residential Tenancies Impacted by COVID-19, once they were worked through with tenant, property manager and owner stakeholders.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland launched a campaign Tuesday night against the protections they said were too skewed towards renters and left some landlords vulnerable losing their properties.

It came after days of having questions around the framework unaddressed by the state government.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni. Pic Mark Cranitch.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni. Pic Mark Cranitch.

"Queensland was one of the first states out of the gate," Mr de Brenni said of the package.

"Clarifications to the framework will be addressed through stakeholder consultation on guidelines."

He said the framework would not allow tenants to unilaterally demand a rent reduction, or leave the property without proving they had lost their job and were in significant hardship.

"Coronavirus-affected tenants must be able to provide proof, but detailed personal information needs only to be provided to the Residential Tenancies Association," Mr de Brenni said.



"Additionally, an increased set of grounds upon which a property owner can take back their property have been proposed, which include the need to move in, the need to sell the property, damage to the property or anti-social behaviour that breaches the rental agreement."

Australian Property Institute chief executive Amelia Hodge raised concerns that right-of-entry restrictions could inhibit owners from negotiating solutions with their banks if valuers weren't allowed to assess properties.

"They won't be able to refinance or draw down on equity because the banks need a valuation," Ms Hodge said.

Ms Trad said the government wanted to protect renters and support owners.

"I haven't even seen the draft legislation at this stage," she said.

"We are working on principles and they are being drafted.

"But I do know one thing - that we are a consultative government and Minister de Brenni will keep working with the REIQ."

Originally published as Rental action promised after flood of complaints