Ending Tenancies Fairly

  • Removal of ‘without grounds’ as a reason to end a tenancy
  • New grounds for property owners & tenants to end tenancies
  • New offenses relating to false or misleading information on a Notice

Implementation Date: 01/10/2022

Lessors will be prevented from terminating a tenancy without grounds and required to rely on an expanded suite of specific stated grounds in the legislation to end the tenancy. This change will provide greater transparency and accountability about lessor-initiated tenancy terminations and support tenants to enforce their rights without fear of retaliatory action.

The additional grounds to end a tenancy available to Lessors will be:

  • a fixed-term tenancy agreement is due to expire
  • the property is to be vacated so that redevelopment (such as conversion from a house into flats) or demolition of the property can be undertaken
  • the property is to be vacated to allow significant repair or renovation works to be undertaken
  • the property is subject to a change of use (such as changing from long-term accommodation to short-stay accommodation or holiday lettings)
  • the owner or their immediate family needs to move into the rental property
  • the rental property has been sold and vacant possession is required
  • the property is to be vacated so that the lessor can prepare the property for sale

In each case, the lessor will be required to give the tenant two months’ notice. However, a fixed term tenancy could not end before the contracted end date unless the tenant agreed. The lessor must provide information to accompany the approved form where required, with a penalty provision attached to prevent misrepresentation or misuse.

Tenants will continue to be able to end a tenancy without grounds if the required notice period (two weeks) is observed, and will also have access to a wider range of specific grounds to end the tenancy, varied notice period requirements targeted to the new grounds of:

  • the rental property is not in good repair, or does not comply with Minimum Housing Standards
  • the lessor has not complied with a repair order of QCAT within the specified time (fourteen -day notice period)
  • a co-tenant dies (providing for the tenant to vacate two weeks after the remaining co-tenants give written notice of the end of the tenancy agreement due to the tenant’s death).

Selling Your Property:

Clause 56 amends current section 286 Notice to leave if premises being sold for residential tenancy agreements.

The current subsection 286(1), which only applies to periodic agreements, is replaced and extends the application to both periodic and fixed term agreements.

It clarifies that the lessor may give the tenant a notice to leave because the lessor has entered a contract to sell the premises with vacant possession. It also includes a new provision where the lessor is preparing to sell the premises and the preparation requires the premises to be vacant.

However, with the amendment of section 286 Notice to leave if premises being sold, legislation has been added to prevent false and misleading information being used on a notice.

365A False or misleading information in notice to leave

(1) This section applies in relation to the following notices to leave—

(a) a notice to leave for sale contract;
(b) a notice to leave for signifiAcant repair or renovations;
(c) a notice to leave for demolition or redevelopment;
(d) a notice to leave for change of use;
(e) a notice to leave for owner occupation.

(2) A lessor or lessor’s agent must not give a tenant a notice to leave containing information the lessor or agent knows is false or misleading in a material particular.
Maximum penalty—50 penalty units.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the lessor or lessor’s agent, when giving information in a document—

(a) tells the tenant, to the best of the lessor or agent’s ability, how the document is false or misleading; and
(b) if the lessor or agent has, or can reasonably obtain, the correct information—gives the tenant the correct information.

365B Lessor must not let premises for 6 months after ending tenancy for premises being sold

(1) If a residential tenancy ends because the lessor gives the tenant a notice to leave for sale contract, the lessor must not offer a residential tenancy for the premises for 6 months after the handover day.
Maximum penalty—50 penalty units.

(2) In a proceeding for an offence against subsection (1), it is a defence for the lessor to prove that—

(a) the lessor genuinely made the premises available for sale but no offers, acceptable to the lessor, were received; or
Example—
The only offers the lessor received were below the lessor’s expected sale price.

(b) the lessor entered into a contract for the sale of the premises but the contract ended without the premises being sold.
Example—
The contract was terminated by the buyer under a term of the contract or a statutory right, including a cooling-off period.

Information

On 18 June 2021, the Queensland Government introduced the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 to the Queensland Parliament.

The Bill was passed by Queensland Parliament on 14 October 2021.

Queensland’s new legislation, which is administered by the RTA, amends the existing legislation:

  • Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008
  • Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009
  • Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020.

Links

Key information provided in this blog post has been extracted from the Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021, the Explanatory Notes and the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website, and is provided as an educational resource only.

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