Homes for Queenslanders: Miles Government backs renters
Published Sunday, 04 February, 2024 at 10:15 AM
The Honourable Steven Miles
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
- Miles Government backing state’s renters with support package to provide more financial aid, rights and protections
- $160 million support will provide more assistance for people to find, get and keep a rental home
- Rent bidding will also be banned under new laws
- Forms part of long-term housing plan – Homes for Queenslanders
The Miles Labor Government will provide extra relief for Queensland renters while introducing tough legislation to make it fairer, safer and easier to find, get and keep a rental.
Through Homes for Queenslanders, $160 million will be invested in a Renters Relief Package over five years.
This will see additional funding provided for the government’s more than 20 private markets products and services, with eligibility for assistance to be expanded to help more renters.
The government will also establish a portable bond scheme allowing tenants to transfer their bonds when relocating from one rental property to another.
While this scheme is being established, a Bridging Bond Loan product will be introduced to assist households to afford the upfront cost of a new bond, pending release of their old bond.
A new rental sector Code of Conduct will be explored with all parties to crack down on dodgy and unprofessional practices and ensure better protections for renters.
Rent bidding will be banned and penalties will be enforced against agents who engage or encourage these practices.
Renters’ rights will be strengthened further by progressing new amendments to Queensland’s rental laws to:
- create a framework for parties to agree on installing modifications in rental properties
- protect renters’ privacy by requiring 48 hours entry notice and a prescribed form to be used to apply for a rental home, with any information collected to be handled securely
- limit reletting costs based on how long is left on a fixed term lease, and
- ensure renters have a fee-free option to pay rent, choice about how they apply for a rental property and receive utility charges promptly.
The State will also double the number of specialist customer service staff in the state’s 21 Housing Service Centres by hiring an additional 42 RentConnect officers.
These vital frontline workers will help connect renters with the supports and services they need to get and keep a rental home.
Information and eligibility for rental products and support services can be found at www.qld.gov.au/housing
Quotes attributable to Premier Steven Miles:
“More than one in three Queenslanders rent, which is why renters rights and supports are at the core of our Homes for Queenslanders plan.
“Our plan makes sure Queensland renters get a fair go and have the supports they need to ease the cost of keeping a roof over their head.
“Through this package, we hope to ease the cost of getting into a home and help renters to save the money they need for a house deposit.
“And, we are putting tough new laws in place to stop rent bidding and crackdown on dodgy practices.
“Queenslanders can trust that my government will be behind them at every step of their housing journey.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works Meaghan Scanlon:
“We know that renters need a helping hand right now to find, get and keep a rental property,” she said.
“Too many Queenslanders, including those who have never needed help to find or keep a private rental, are being forced into unsuitable or unaffordable housing, or into homelessness.
“Increasing housing supply will take time, but there are things we can do now while supply catches up.
“That’s why we are changing the rules to make it fairer and easier for renters to find and keep a home.
“Rental properties play a critical role, and stronger rules for rental property investors and managers will be developed, with penalties for those who don’t comply, so Queensland renters feel secure and protected.
“Our currently has more than 20 supports and services that provide assistance to renters, including bond loans, rental grants and rental security subsidies.
“In fact, last financial year we provided around $85 million to help 78,000 Queensland renters with Bond Loans, Rental Grants, RentConnect services and Rental Security Subsidy payments.”
Rent Relief Package key highlights:
- Extra funding and expanded eligibility for more than 20 products and services to support even more Queensland renters to find, get and keep a rental home
- Establish a new portable bond scheme to allow renters to transfer their bond when relocating from one rental property to another.
- New rental sector Code of Conduct to set clear expectations to foster appropriate and professional practices in Queensland’s rental market.
- Further action to stabilise rents by banning all forms of rent bidding and applying the annual limit for rent increases to the rental property not the tenancy.
- Stronger renters’ rights to be delivered through new amendments, including to make it easier for renters to install modifications they need to live safely and securely in their rental home and to have confidence their privacy is protected.
- Doubling of frontline support staff for renters with 42 new RentConnect officers to be based at housing service centres across the state.
Anyone who needs housing assistance can contact their local Housing Service Centre during business hours or call the 24/7 Homeless Hotline on 1800 474 753.
Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz 0420 592 078