Media Release: QDN Supports the Renting in Queensland Reforms

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) welcomes the Queensland Government’s package of tenancy reforms announced on Saturday 16 November, 2019.  “QDN believes these reforms will go a long way to allowing renting Queensland households to make their house their home, particularly people who need to make minor modifications to their rental property to ensure it is accessible” says QDN Chairperson, Mr Nigel Webb.

The Queensland Government is reviewing Queensland’s tenancy laws to ensure the rental needs of Queenslanders are met now and in the future. Analysis of these reforms shows that there are benefits to all Queensland renters, particularly vulnerable renters and people with disability.

“Importantly for Queenslanders with disability are the proposed reforms around making basic modifications to properties easier to negotiate for tenants” says Ms Armstrong, QDN CEO. “For many of our members, private rental is made all the more difficult due to the need for modifications around making a property accessible.  These reforms are a start to improve access to timely modifications relating to accessibility, health and safety, security and access to working telephones.”

“Both tenants and owners benefit from certainty about how and when a tenancy will end. It is important to ensure that tenants and owners can end tenancies fairly. Many QDN members have been impacted by Without Grounds evictions and having nowhere to go as a result. QDN supports proposals around requiring valid reasons for ending tenancies and providing greater fairness for tenants and landlords to end tenancies” said Ms Armstrong.

“The introduction of minimum housing standards including structural soundness, plumbing and drainage, security and control of pests and vermin, among others, is a welcome measure by many QDN members who struggle to find safe, affordable housing in the private rental market” says Mr Webb. “Many people with disability experience challenges in negotiating these things directly with a landlord so, having legislation in place will make this easier.”

Many QDN members have spoken of the value of having pets for companionship, to decrease their social isolation and to maintain good mental health. QDN welcomes proposed reforms that make renting with pets easier, while ensuring there are effective safeguards for property owners.

It is well-known that people with disability experience violence and abuse at higher rates than others. QDN supports measures to strengthen tenancy laws to include additional protections that help tenants experiencing domestic and family violence to stay or leave their current rental property safely, including ending a tenancy without the usual notice requirements and access to rental bond funds.

“QDN welcomes these reforms and believes they go a long way to balancing the scales for renters and landlords” Ms Armstrong said.

For more information contact Paige Armstrong on 0408 720 099

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