The Queensland Government made changes to some COVID-19 arrangements for residential tenancies, effective 1 May 2021 to 30 April 2022. These COVID-19 changes have now expired.
The amendments were designed to help the Queensland residential rental sector transition back to normal tenancy arrangements and processes under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. These changes applied to all general tenancies and rooming accommodation, including social housing.
Our role at the RTA is to administer the law, and to provide information and free support services to tenants, property owners and managers. We are impartial and independent and can help you understand your tenancy rights and obligations. We can also help you to negotiate an agreement through our free dispute resolution service.
For more information contact us.
No longer in place from 1 May 2022
- protections for tenants against being listed in a tenancy database for rent arrears caused by COVID-19 impacts
- limits on reletting costs for eligible tenants who end their fixed term tenancies early
- short term tenancy statement extensions for moveable dwellings.
Changes from 20 October 2021
- provisions allowing tenants experiencing domestic and family violence to end their tenancies quickly were repealed from the COVID-19 regulations as similar arrangements continue under the amended Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, which commenced on 20 October 2021.
No longer in place from 1 May 2021
- entry restrictions and requirements to support COVID-19 social distancing measures
- relaxed repair and maintenance obligations.
No longer in place from 1 October 2020
- six-month eviction moratorium for COVID-19 rent arrears
- fixed term agreement extensions for COVID-19 impacted tenants
- ending agreement provisions that prevent property owners ending tenancies with COVID-19 impacted tenants without grounds and provide additional grounds for parties to end tenancies (owner occupation and sale of premises which require vacant possession)
- adjusted rent and bond processes that support parties to negotiate arrangements to manage COVID-19 impacts on their tenancies
- mandatory conciliation of COVID-19 related tenancy disputes through the RTA.
Voluntary RTA conciliation is available
Tenants, property owners and managers are encouraged to agree on solutions together.
If this is not possible, they may use the RTA’s dispute resolution service to help come to a workable agreement.
The parties will be able to apply to QCAT if conciliation is unsuccessful.
Tenants should continue to pay rent and meet their tenancy obligations.
Step 1 – Try to reach an agreement
Tenants, property owners and property managers should try to work together and negotiate any changes to a rental agreement first.
Step 2 – Apply for conciliation
If you can’t come to an agreement, you may choose to apply for RTA Dispute resolution. You can learn more about RTA conciliation by taking a look at the dispute resolution process flow chart.
The RTA will confirm your dispute resolution request as soon as possible, and then arrange a date and time for the conciliation to occur either via a teleconference or phone shuttle.
An RTA officer will:
- contact you from a private or (02) number
- notify parties that a dispute resolution request has been submitted
- assess the dispute resolution request
- determine the most suitable method for conciliation.
Step 3 - Prepare for conciliation
You’ll need to be prepared. It’s recommended you have copies of relevant documentation available to support the conciliation process. It is up to all parties to determine what documents they are comfortable sharing with each other to demonstrate their change in circumstances.
Step 4 – At conciliation
The RTA conciliator will open the discussion and invite each party to make an initial statement. They’ll acknowledge the statements, identify issues, encourage open discussion and explore the options.
If a decision is reached during conciliation, it will be formalised into a conciliation agreement that is binding. Parties may also be provided information through conciliation and then come to an agreement at a later date. It is important to ensure that any agreements reached are documented in writing for your records.
Step 5 – Go to QCAT if a resolution isn’t reached
If you are unable to reach agreement, you will be issued with a Notice of Unresolved Dispute to facilitate an application to QCAT for a formal decision.