How Do the New Minimum Housing Standards Affect Property Investors?
If you’re a property investor in Queensland, you need to be aware of the new minimum housing standards. These standards, which have already kicked in for new tenancies from 1 September 2023, will extend to all tenancies from 1 September 2024. They apply across the board, including general tenancies, moveable dwellings, and rooming accommodation agreements.
So, what does this mean for you?
As a responsible rental property owner, chances are you already satisfy the minimum building standards. However, it’s still worth running through them and informing you of what you need to do to ensure your properties comply – ensuring your investments remain sound and your tenants are happy.
Understanding the New Standards
Queensland’s new minimum housing standards are designed to ensure that all rental properties are safe, secure, and functional. These standards complement existing legislation, setting a baseline for the minimum condition of rental properties.
As a property investor, it’s essential to understand these standards to ensure your properties are compliant and to avoid potential disputes with tenants.
The new minimum housing standards for rental properties as laid out by the Queensland Government are as follows:
Safety and Security
The property must:
- be weatherproof and structurally sound:
- the roofing or windows must prevent water entering the premises when it rains
- the floor, walls, ceiling, roof and any decks or stairs must not be likely to collapse because of a rot, defect, or significant dampness
- be in good repair, with fixtures and fittings (such as electrical appliances) that are not likely to cause injury through normal use
- have functioning locks or latches on all external doors and windows that can be reached from outside the premises without a ladder
- be free from vermin, damp, and mould (this does not include cases where vermin, damp or mould has been caused by the tenant)
- have privacy coverings for windows in all rooms where the tenant could reasonably expect privacy, such as bedrooms. Privacy coverings:
- for windows include blinds, curtains, tinting, and glass frosting
- do not apply if the line of sight of someone outside the property and someone inside the property is blocked, for example if the window is obstructed by a fence, a hedge, tree, or other feature of the property.
The property must:
- have adequate plumbing and drainage for the number of people occupying the premises
- be connected to a water supply service or other infrastructure that supplies hot and cold water suitable for drinking
- provide privacy in bathroom areas
- have toilets that are all flushable and refillable, and connected to a sewer, septic tank or other waste disposal system
- have a functioning cooktop, if a kitchen is provided
- include the necessary fixtures for a functional laundry, such as tap fixtures and adequate plumbing, if laundry facilities are provided. The laundry does not have to include a washing machine or other white goods as the tenant may provide these.
How Do the New Standards Affect You as a Property Investor?
The introduction of Queensland’s new minimum housing standards may have varying impacts on you as a property investor. For many, these standards will align with the current state of your properties, meaning no significant changes are necessary.
However, for others, this could mean minor repairs, renovations, or replacements to meet these new requirements.
Compliance is Key
- Compliance with these standards is not optional. Failing to meet them could lead to legal repercussions, including disputes through QCAT.
- For instance, tenants can move out within the first seven days of occupancy if the property doesn’t meet the minimum standards. They can also apply for a QCAT termination order on grounds of misrepresentation within the first three months.
- Regular property assessments and maintenance can help you stay ahead and avoid any compliance issues.
- Ensuring your property meets these standards can make it more attractive to potential tenants.
- Properties that are well-maintained and meet these safety and functionality standards will likely retain tenants longer, reducing vacancies and void periods.
- Keeping your property up to these standards can also help maintain or even increase its market value.
Securing Your Investment’s Future with Living Property Management
As Queensland embraces new minimum housing standards, property investors have a unique opportunity to enhance the quality of their rental properties.
Remember, by proactively adhering to these standards, you’re not only ensuring legal compliance but also positioning your property as a desirable option in a competitive market. This forward-thinking approach can lead to longer tenancies and increased property value.
Navigating these changes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Living Property Management is here to guide you every step of the way. Our comprehensive property management services, including routine inspections and maintenance, are designed to take the hassle out of property management while ensuring your investment thrives under the new standards.
Let us handle the complexities of property management so you can enjoy the benefits of your investment with peace of mind. Contact a member of the friendly Living Property Management team and secure the future of your property investment today.