Australia Queensland landlords stripped of automatic refusal on pets in rental properties under new housing bill

11:47  14 october  2021
11:47  14 october  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

What If We Just Gave Renters Money?

  What If We Just Gave Renters Money? The country’s voucher-focused help for American renters is mired in red tape, and many landlords opt out. Would cash work better?The status quo is not working particularly well. More than half a million Americans experience homelessness on any given night, housing stock is in too-short supply, and rent and mortgage payments consistently rank among the heftiest bills families have to bear. For decades, most federal housing assistance has come in the form of a voucher program known as Section 8. But the program is cumbersome and bureaucratic. Landlords are often reluctant to jump through the government’s regulatory hoops to get the money, so they opt out.

A new housing bill strips Queensland landlords of the right of refusal on pets in rental properties . The bill also offers greater protections to tenants experiencing domestic violence and enforces minimum housing standards. Queensland landlords will no longer be allowed to refuse pets in rental properties without a reason deemed valid by the state government. Key points: Landlords have no automatic refusal on pets in rentals . The bill offers DV victims the right to leave on a week's notice or change locks.

Frustrated by his landlord ’s refusal to allow Jasmine to stay, Adams contacted the Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, a dog enthusiast, who is now pushing for changes to allow for pets in more rented accommodation. “ Pets have been a lifeline to so many in lockdown. However, there may not be enough time to pass the law because the pandemic has led to a reduction in the number of parliamentary sittings. In January the government issued a new model tenancy agreement (MTA) for landlords to use as a template, the aim of which is to end blanket bans on pets in rental properties .

The REIQ says the new bill © Provided by ABC NEWS The REIQ says the new bill "swings the pendulum in favour of the tenant". (ABC News: Lucy Robinson)

Queensland landlords will no longer be allowed to refuse pets in rental properties without a reason deemed valid by the state government.

The Housing Legislation Amendment Bill has passed in Parliament after two days of debate.

The state government said the changes would modernise current laws for the 34 per cent of Queenslanders living in a rental property.

But the Real Estate Institute of Queensland said the bill could be "the final straw" for some investors and might prompt them to sell.

Rental reforms pass Qld parliament

  Rental reforms pass Qld parliament Queensland has passed new rental laws to make it easier for tenants to end leases, to stop evictions without grounds and to have a pet.The Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was voted through on Thursday after parliamentary debate and amendments proposed by the Greens throughout the week.

Landlords expect properties to be lived in and returned in better condition then they rented them out in. Or see it as their personal property with invaders who also pay them money, but they have no rights to live there. I get the worries of landlords , however in the past three properties I've been in. I've always had to put in maintenance requests to hear nothing back from, you wonder why things end up broken - yet this could have been avoided if they responded to maintenance requests within a timely manner.

Reform Two: “ Renting with pets ”. Landlords won’t be able to stop a tenant bringing in a pet unless they can argue reasonable grounds for refusing (and provide evidence to the tenant). Many of Bees Nees Realty’s landlord clients currently allow pets because they know it broadens their tenant market. For many years property managers, through the Real Estate Institute of Qld (REIQ) have called for specific standards in rental housing and clearer requirements for landlords . You only need to read the coronial report into Isabella Diefenbach’s tragic death to know that, even with safe homes

The bill, presented by Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch, brings in a raft of changes to Queensland rental laws, including protections for those experiencing domestic violence.

Under the bill:

  • Tenants can have pets unless landlords provide a valid reason to refuse
  • Tenants experiencing domestic violence can end a lease with just seven days' notice
  • No evictions without grounds evictions
  • Added reasons for landlords and tenants to end tenancies
  • Strengthening housing standards by fining landlords up to $6,850 if repairs aren't completed

Pets in rentals

Tenants can now apply to have animals and landlords can only say no for a reason deemed valid by the government.

Some of those reasons include a lack of fencing or appropriate space for the pet, health and safety risks, or if the pet is likely to cause damage beyond repair.

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With the template contract, consent for pets in rental properties will be the default position. However, the standard agreement acts as only a guideline and is not legally binding. With this tenancy agreement, landlords will now have to object in writing within 28 days of a tenant’s written pet request. Housing Minister Christopher Pincher says: “Through the changes to the tenancy agreement we are making today, we are bringing an end to the unfair blanket ban on pets introduced by some landlords .

Landlords - would you house an Afghan refugee family? A local authority is appealing directly to landlords to join a scheme rehousing Afghan refugee “In principle I welcome this trend; what I would not like to see, however, is a situation emerge whereby landlords are compelled, by law, to accept tenants with pets in yet another parody of ‘human rights’ legislation” states Alexander. He continues: “Given the current over-supply of rental stock and ongoing concerns about the ability of many existing tenants to maintain rental payments once the furlough scheme ends, many more

If a landlord does not respond to a tenant's request to have a pet on their property within 14 days, the tenant can assume the application has been approved.

Opposition housing spokesperson Tim Mander raised concerns about making it easier for renters to own pets, arguing landlords should not need a reason to refuse animals.

"We all know that animals cause damage and we all know that you can enter a house and know immediately that a dog's been in this house or a cat's been in this house because of the odour," Mr Mander said.

"The landlord, the property owner, the lessor deserves to retain the right for that not to happen."

DV protection added

The legislation gives tenants experiencing domestic violence (DV) the right to end a lease with a week's notice.

They will also be able to change the locks on a property without consent from the landlord.

Mr Mander told Parliament the LNP "wholeheartedly support" the DV protection measures added in the bill.

Monthly €250 rent bonus plan for young Spaniards

  Monthly €250 rent bonus plan for young Spaniards Anyone aged from 18 to 35 would be offered the money to help them leave their parents' home to rent.The €250 (£213; $290) benefit would be given for up to two years, and is part of a broader housing package.

While allowing pets in your rental property gives you access to a broader pool of potential tenants, it also comes with additional risks. Because of this, planning ahead, establishing rules and requirements, and creating a pet agreement are essential for landlords who are renting to tenants with pets . Increased rental income. Many landlords who allow pets charge a pet deposit, pet fee or additional pet rent each month.

When the landlord believes you have abandoned the property . A landlord who thinks you've skipped out without giving any notice or returning the key may legally enter. For example, if a neighbor reports seeing a moving van drive away and the utilities have been shut off, it's reasonable to conclude that you've left for good. As long as your landlord complies with your state law as to reasons for entry and notice periods, your refusal to allow access can result in an eviction lawsuit. A termination at the end of the month or a nonrenewal at the end of the lease.

Minimum housing standards

While landlords will not be allowed to end a tenancy without grounds, the bill adds a suite of new reasons tenancies can be terminated by either landlords or tenants.

Landlords can end a lease agreement if significant repair works need to be done, the property is subject to redevelopment, or if the owner or an immediate family member needs to move into the property.

The landlord must give tenants at least two months' notice of termination and a tenancy cannot end before the lease is up without the tenant agreeing to it.

'Swings the pendulum'

Renters have new reasons to leave a property, including if it is in disrepair and does not meet minimum housing standards.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella said while the bill is a vast improvement and represents a more balanced position on the tenancy reforms first proposed by the ALP, it still "swings the pendulum distinctly in favour of the tenant".

"The REIQ welcomes the greater statutory clarification the bill provides in relation to minimum housing standards," she said.

But she said some property owners would see the bill as "the final straw".

"We will see some investors making the decision to sell.

“The ripple effect of this could see renters struggling to find suitable housing under already tight conditions."

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This is interesting!