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Myth Busting NQ Rental Reform

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The Palaszczuk Government is standing by its proposed rental reforms by setting the record straight on myths surrounding plans to deliver fairness and certainty to North Queensland’s home rental market.

Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said more than 135,000 Queenslanders had taken the opportunity to give their feedback on the government’s Open Doors to Renting Reform.

“With any important change like rental reform that the community feels strongly about, myths and inaccuracies can take on a life of their own,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“I’ve heard claims that property owners in Townsville won’t be able to end a tenancy, but that’s simply not true.

“In fact, the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed rental reforms will help owners by strengthening the legal grounds for not renewing a rental agreement.

“Being unable to refuse a request from a tenant to keep a pet is another myth.

“That’s despite a multitude of protections built into the proposed rental reforms that allow owners to say no, including the suitability of the property, health and safety and strata rules.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said almost 37 percent of Townsville residents rented their home.

“Let’s bust another myth,” Mr Harper said.

“Rents in Townsville and Thuringowa aren’t likely to rise under the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed reforms.

“Homes that were flooded are beginning to come back onto the rental market after repairs.

“Extreme weather events aside, economic analysis shows just 6 percent of the state’s housing stock needs a basic upgrade to meet the minimum standards we all expect.

“The biggest impact on rents is the rule of supply and demand; real estate agents can only charge what the market will pay, and in Townsville our vacancy rate sits at around 1.5 percent.

“And, claims the proposed reforms give tenants the green light to make major modifications to their rental property are just plain scare mongering.

“Tenants will only be able to make minor changes, such as securing furniture or installing a lock on a door, that can easily be reversed and returned to original condition.

“It’s wrong to state tenants would have free rein to make major modifications to their rental property.

“So, if you’re thinking about painting the house a bright shade of pink, changing the carpets or putting in a new air conditioner; without the written agreement of the owner then it’s a pipe dream.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said there was no evidence to suggest the reforms would see a flight of investors from the North.

“Most savvy owners are in it for the longer term,” Mr Stewart said.

“In Victoria, where similar tenancy reforms were introduced more than two years ago there hasn’t been any drop in the supply of houses and units for rent.

“The Palaszczuk Government has consulted extensively with the property sector who indicated comfort with the reforms except for outlawing so-called revenge evictions.

“Townsville tenants are entitled to feel secure in their homes and we know rental property owners want safeguards to protect their investment.

“We also know the current system as it stands disadvantages both tenants and owners.

“The proposed rental reforms will provide certainty for owners who often lose money when their property has a high turn-over rate and renters who are up for significant financial costs every time they move.”

As a growing state, the Palaszczuk Government is proposing a staged approach to ensure there is a minimum standard of accommodation backed up with new reforms that are fair to both tenants and property owners in Queensland.

The Palaszczuk Government is seeking feedback on a Regulatory Impact Statement until December 31, 2019.

Go to: www.qld.gov.au/rentinginqld to read the Better Renting Future Reform Roadmap to have your say on the proposed reforms.