Tenants in Queensland will only see their rent raised once a year under a new state government proposal.
Queensland renters have had to deal with some of the country’s steepest price increases, and the new laws are set to put an end to that.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said renters need to be given “a fair go” to pay rent they can afford. Currently, landlords in the state are permitted to raise rents every six months.
"The great majority of landlords do the right thing and look after their tenants, for those who don't, this is a wake-up call," Palaszczuk said.
The change will bring Queensland into line with limits on the frequency of rent hikes in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT and South Australia.
There's a six-month limit in WA and also in the Northern Territory, but only if increases are written into a lease agreement.
Rents have grown faster in Queensland than any other state or territory with low-income and regional households hit the hardest, according to a recent Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) report.
Rent increases need to be capped
Despite welcoming the changes, QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh said they don’t go far enough to curb price gouging.
"We simply don't have enough houses to house all of the people in this state, and so of course when you've got a simple story of supply and demand we are going to continue to see rent inflation, the price of rent increasing, unless we have some regulations," McVeigh told reporters.
Tenants Queensland said if the size of the rental increases are not limited, landlords will simply use the end of fixed-term leases to hike rents.
"It would be a fair playing field to limit those increases to the amount of CPI [Consumer Price Index] on an annual basis that provides returns to investors and at the same time it's giving stability and predictability for renters," Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr said.
- With AAP