Locks and security


Rental law changes introducing minimum housing standards will come into effect for new tenancies from 1 September 2023, and for all tenancies from 1 September 2024.  

The property manager/owner must ensure the property is ‘reasonably secure’, supply and maintain all locks and provide the tenant with keys.

Keys include electronic key cards, swipe cards and remote controls.

The property manager/owner must provide:

  • each person named on the tenancy agreement with a set of keys to enter the property
  • a single set of keys for any lockable areas (e.g. buildings, security gates, rooms, sheds, lockable cupboards and mailboxes)
  • rooming accommodation tenants/residents with a room key and, if necessary, to the house or apartment building.

'Reasonably secure' may relate to:

  • the risk to a tenant's personal safety
  • the ability of a tenant to obtain home contents insurance
  • the likelihood of break-ins
  • local community standards about adequate security for properties
  • the physical characteristics of the property and adjoining areas.

Copies of keys

The property manager/owner must give the tenant a key for each lock that is part of the premises. For example, a key for a lock on a door to a room in the premises, on the mailbox, on a door to a toolshed that forms part of the premises or on a built-in cupboard in the premises.

If there is more than one tenant named on the tenancy agreement then the property manager/owner must supply each of the named tenants on the tenancy agreement with a key for each lock that is required to access the premises.

Changing locks

If at any stage of the tenancy either party wants to change the locks, both parties must agree and neither party may unreasonably withhold their consent.

Locks can only be changed:

  • if the tenant and property manager/owner agree
  • in an emergency, or
  • by QCAT order.

End of the tenancy

All keys, including any copies made by the tenant, must be returned to the property manager/owner at the end of the tenancy. Failure to return all of the keys, may result in the tenant being invoiced for the cost to replace the keys, including the cost to change the locks.

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