RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES PRACTICE GUIDE
On 29 March 2020, National Cabinet agreed that states and territories would implement a moratorium on evictions for residential tenancies in financial distress due to the impacts of COVID-19.
The Queensland Government has implemented a range of measures to support this decision and deliver better protections and improved stability in Queensland’s rental market.
• Tenants who are suffering or have suffered excessive hardship because of COVID-19 who cannot meet their rent commitments cannot be evicted or listed in a tenancy database for rent arrears.
• Fixed term agreements due to expire during the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended to 30 September 2020 unless the tenant requests a shorter term.
• Require property owners to only end COVID-19 impacted tenancies with approved reasons and required notice periods.
• Provide new approved reasons to allow property owners and tenants to end their tenancy agreement if they need to during the COVID-19 emergency period, including if they are experiencing domestic and family violence with protections in place to limit their liability for end of lease costs.
• Capping break lease fees for eligible tenants if their income has reduced by at least 75% and they have savings of less than $5,000.
• Owner obligations for routine repairs and inspections have been relaxed but regulatory obligations to ensure tenant safety in the rental property continue to apply.
• Tenants may refuse physical entry for non-essential reasons, including routine repairs and inspections, particularly if a member of the household is a vulnerable person. However, tenants must agree to virtual inspections if physical inspections cannot take place.
• Tenants and property owners should work together to reach agreement. If agreement cannot be reached, parties are required to undertake conciliation to resolve disputes and achieve conciliated agreements, which form part of the tenancy agreement.
Please feel free to contact me for a full copy of the Residential Tenancies Practice Guide.
KAREN STEHR PROPERTY PTY LTD
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