Maintenance & Repairs

(Minimum Housing Standards)

  • Strengthened Maintenance & Repair Obligations
  • Emergency Repair authority provided to Tenants & Property Managers
  • Additional time to complete & return Entry Condition Reports
  • Enforceable repair orders via QCAT

Implementation Date: 01/10/2022

The amendments will require that the premises and its inclusions are safe, secure and functional via the implementation of the Minimum Housing Standards.

Minimum Housing Standards will apply to new leases entered into (including lease renewals) from 1 September 2023 and ALL tenancies from 1 September 2024.

Download: REIQ – Minimum Housing Standards Fact Sheet

Part 1 – Safety and Security

Weatherproof and structurally sound
Premises must be weatherproof, structurally sound and in good repair. To be weatherproof, the roofing or windows must prevent water entering the premises when it rains.

Indications the premises are structurally sound are where the floor, wall, ceiling or roof or the deck or stairs is not likely to collapse because of a rot or defect; or a floor, wall or ceiling or other supporting structure is not affected by significant dampness, or the condition of the premises is not likely to cause damage to an occupant’s personal property.

 

Fixtures and fittings
The fixtures and fittings, including electrical appliances, for the premises must be in good repair and must not be likely to cause injury to a person through the ordinary use of the fixtures or fittings.

 
Locks on windows and doors
Premises must have a functioning lock or latch fitted to all external windows and doors to secure the premises against unauthorised entry. Premises let under a rooming accommodation agreement must have a functioning lock or latch fitted to all windows and doors of a resident’s room to secure the room against unauthorised entry. This applies only to windows and doors that a person outside the premises or room could access without having to use a ladder.
 
 

Vermin, damp and mould
Premises must be free of vermin, damp and mould where the lessor or provider is responsible for those parts of the premises. This obligation does not apply to vermin, damp or mould caused by the tenant.


For example, where the tenant is not using an exhaust fan that the lessor has previously installed in the bathroom of the premises.
 
 

Privacy
Premises must have privacy coverings for windows in all rooms in which tenants or residents are reasonably likely to expect privacy such as bedrooms. Privacy coverings for windows include blinds; curtains; tinting and glass frosting. Privacy coverings do not apply if the window of a room is not in the line of sight between a person outside and a person inside, for example the premises is obstructed by a fence, a hedge, tree or other feature of the property.

 

Part 2 – Reasonable Functionality

Plumbing and drainage
Premises must have adequate plumbing and drainage for the number of persons occupying the premises and be connected to a water supply service or other infrastructure that supplies hot and cold water suitable for drinking.

 

Bathrooms and toilets
The bathroom and toilet facilities must provide the user with privacy and each toilet must be functional to flush and refill and be connected to a sewer, septic system or other waste disposal system.

 

Kitchen
A kitchen must include a functioning cook-top, if a kitchen has been provided as part of the premises.

 

Laundry
A laundry must include those fixtures (other than whitegoods) required to provide a functional laundry, if a laundry has been included in the premises.

An addition to the meaning of emergency repairs includes any matter listed as a Minimum Housing Standard.

Emergency Repairs

Several amendments have been made to various sections of the RTRA Act, relating to Emergency Repairs:

Section 214 of the RTRA Act Meaning of emergency repairs for residential tenancy agreements has been amended to define emergency repairs to also mean works needed for the premises or inclusions to comply with the prescribed minimum housing standards.


Section 216 Nominated repairer for emergency repairs has been amended to ensure tenants know who to contact, and how to contact them, if emergency repairs are required.

Under amendments to subsection 216(1) and (2), the lessor must nominate a person (or persons) as a nominated repairer to act for the lessor in arranging for emergency repairs, or to make the emergency repairs, of the premises or inclusions.

Subsection 216(2) requires the nominated repairer details to be included in the residential tenancy agreement or a written notice given by the lessor to tenant.

Under subsection 216(3) the residential tenancy agreement or written notice must state the name and telephone number of the nominated repairer, and whether the nominated repairer is the tenant’s first point of contact for notifying the need for emergency repairs.

Under subsection 216(4) the lessor must give the tenant a written notice of any change to the nominated repairer, including changes to contact details.

Subsection 216(5) clarifies that this section does not apply if the lessor gave the tenant the lessor’s contact information, including a telephone number and, under the residential tenancy agreement, the lessor is to arrange for emergency repairs to be made to the premises or inclusions.


Section 219 Costs of emergency repairs arranged by tenant to increase the amount the tenant can authorise has been amended.

Subsection 219(1) is amended to establish the maximum amount that may be incurred for emergency repairs arranged by the tenant where the emergency repairs process has been followed is equal to the amount of 4 weeks rent payable under the residential tenancy agreement. This is an increase equivalent to an extra 2 weeks.


A new section 219A Lessor’s agent may arrange for emergency repairs to be made introduces a new power for agents of lessors to arrange emergency repairs to be carried out under residential tenancy agreements.

Under subsection 219A(1), the lessor’s agent may arrange for a suitably qualified person to carry out emergency repairs to the premises or inclusions if the repairs are not likely to cost more than the emergency repair limit for the residential tenancy agreement.

The emergency repair limit for a residential tenancy agreement is an amount equal to 4 weeks rent payable under the agreement.

Subsection 219A(2) provides that if the lessor’s agent acts as allowed under the section and pays for the emergency repairs, the agent may make deductions from rent payments received from the tenant, up to the cost of the repairs, before disbursement of the payments to the lessor’s account.

The lessor’s agent must inform the lessor of the action as soon as practicable after taking it.

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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