Minimum housing standards came into effect for new tenancies from 1 September 2023, meaning if a tenancy agreement is signed or renewed from this date, the property must meet minimum housing standards. These standards will come into effect for all remaining tenancies from 1 September 2024 and will apply to all types of tenancies, including general tenancies, moveable dwellings and rooming accommodation agreements.
The below has been prepared by the RTA to help owners understand and prepare for the upcoming changes around minimum housing standards for general tenancies in Queensland.
Overview of minimum housing standards currently in place:
Minimum housing standards aim to ensure all Queensland rental properties are safe, secure and reasonably functional. The new standards complement existing legislation, which states that a property must be fit to live in, in good repair and compliant with health and safety laws. To meet minimum housing standards, the rental property will need to meet the criteria outlined below.
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 these may be provided by the tenant.