APMA Petition Letter Opposing Unfair Rental Reform in Qld
Dear Premier Palaszczuk & Minister for Housing & Public Works Mick de Brenni,

On behalf of the Australian Property Managers Alliance (APMA), an organisation formed by over 1000 Onsite Managers & Property Management Professionals in Queensland, we are writing to express our great concerns about the State Government’s proposed reforms to Queensland’s rental laws, announced by the Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni, on Saturday, 16 November, 2019.

While APMA supports that Queensland's rental laws do require modernisation to ensure a minimum living standards for rental properties and provide a stable rental market, the proposed amendments are fundamentally flawed and must be reconsidered in order to provide a fair and balanced solution for both landlords and tenants.

Our member property managers and the landlords we represent, commonly felt that the public consultation survey were biased and majority of the respondents were tenants, the reforms only represent a sizable overreaction, seemingly spurred by the negative experiences of some tenants.

APMA strongly oppose the reforms and urge the State Government to reconsider these reforms, in particular for the following matters:

1.The abolishment of a landlord’s right to not renew a tenancy at the end of an agreed term.

APMA holds the same view as REIQ in that this represents the most damaging reform of all. To create a law that effectively creates tenancies for life, making it near impossible for property owners to end a tenancy, is not only a total erosion of landlord rights, but will likely be the catalyst for owners to sell their properties, and a deterrent for potential investors.

In a lot of cases, our member managers endure current tenants until the end of the lease instead of spending more time and efforts to remove some tenants through breaching and termination or through QCAT. Your law perpetuates the misconception that landlords and property managers regularly seek to evict and source new tenants. On the contrary, it is in an investor’s best interest to secure long-term, quality tenants, who pay their rent on time, and look after the property well.

By your change of law, the property managers have no choice but to be more strict and issue more breaches in order to terminate unwanted tenants disliked by other neighbouring tenants and residents. We often comfort complaining neighbours by reassuring them that lease expiring will not be renewed for bad tenants, this will no longer be an option and we can foresee the additional burden and pressure on the currently busy QCAT.

2.The removal of a landlord’s decision-making ability regarding pets

Despite only 48% of the respondents (with 79% being tenants) believing pets should be allowed without needing to ask permission from the landlords, your proposed rental reforms result in a total loss of control of the property managers and forcing landlords to consent to pets, with limited exceptions.

In order for a property owner to establish grounds to deny consent to pet requests, a QCAT order would be required, and the threshold required to acquire the order would be almost impossible to overcome. Our member managers and landlords are outraged as this is unreasonable and unfair.

The proposed reforms refer to the landlord having the benefit of pet bonds, however, this is misleading. Your reforms allow an amount of money to be reserved exclusively for carpet cleaning and pest control, not really what we considered to be pet bonds. This is not sufficient to cater for the potential damage that a pet can cause to a property. Your research shows 75% says pet bonds would help landlords and tenants to reach agreement about pets, but failed to inform the respondents that the pet bonds will not cover for the higher risk of damage by pets.

While APMA is certainly not saying ‘no’ to reforms, and agree with the intention behind modernisation of the rental laws in Queensland, the Palaszczuk Government has failed to offer a fair and balanced solution, that benefits both tenants and property owners.

Property Professionals and Landlords are entitled to be supported by regulatory frameworks that support the entire rental market. The proposed reforms ignore the voices and rights of landlords, taking away their decision making authority, and essentially their control over the asset they’ve worked so hard to acquire and service the loan to maintain.

I urge your government to reconsider these damaging reforms, in favour of laws that offer safety, security and stability to landlords and tenants alike. We will VOTE to protect landlords' right and safe guard our assets and investments.

Yours faithfully,
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