From 1 October 2022, changes to the Queensland Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 come into effect.
The changes remove a landlord’s right to terminate a periodic residential tenancy by “notice without grounds”.
This means that Landlords in Queensland are more likely to end up with long term residential tenants, if they let their fixed term residential tenancies turn into periodic tenancies. However, landlord will still be able to terminate a periodic tenancy, if they can establish a prescribed ground (see below).
NOTE: These changes apply to periodic tenancies which have commenced before AND after 1 October 2022.
Before we delve into exploring the changes, here is a quick refresher of what the different types of tenancies mean:
|Fixed term tenancy agreement||means an agreement for a residential tenancy for a fixed term. E.g. a lease that starts on 1/09/2022 and ends on 31/08/2023.|
|Periodic tenancy agreement||means an agreement that is not a fixed term agreement, i.e. renewed on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
Usually if a fixed term tenancy agreement is not renewed or terminated it will become a periodic tenancy agreement automatically after the fixed term ends.
Prescribed Grounds for Termination after 1 October 2022
The following are some of the grounds for landlords to end a periodic tenancy after 1 October 2022. For a full list of new prescribed grounds please click here:
|Notice to leave||Notice period|
|notice to leave for an unremedied breach that is a failure to pay rent||7 days after the notice is given to the tenant|
|notice to leave for an unremedied breach that is any failure other than a failure to pay rent||14 days after the notice is given to the tenant|
|notice to leave for a sale contract||2 months after the notice is given to the tenant and not before the end of a fixed term agreement|
|notice to leave for demolition or redevelopment||2 months after the notice is given to the tenant and not before the end of a fixed term agreement|
|notice to leave for significant repair or renovations||2 months after the notice is given to the tenant and not before the end of a fixed term agreement|
|notice to leave for change of use||2 months after the notice is given to the tenant and not before the end of a fixed term agreement|
|notice to leave for owner occupation||2 months after the notice is given to the tenant and not before the end of a fixed term agreement|
|notice to leave for end of fixed term agreement||2 months after the notice is given to the tenant and not before the end of a fixed term agreement|
After 1 October 2022, the landlord’s ability to end a periodic tenancy “without grounds” will cease.
Considerations for landlords of a tenanted property
From 1 October 2022, as a landlord you can rely on the reduced prescribed grounds listed & linked above to give Notice to Leave to your residential tenants.
However, if the lease on your property is already in a periodic tenancy, to avoid ending up with a long-term tenant (if this is something you do not want), prior to 1 October 2022 consider:
- negotiating to enter into a fixed term tenancy agreement now; or
- issuing a ‘notice to leave without grounds’ to your tenants.
If the end of a current fixed-term lease is still in the future:
- make sure you calculate the relevant dates and notice periods that apply and mark your calendar;
- consider issuing ‘notice to leave for end of fixed term agreement’ at the appropriate time (whether or not in conjunction with a new fixed-term lease).
Considerations for a seller of a tenanted property
After 1 October 2022, if you are planning on selling your tenanted property, some of the things are consider are:
- as usual, disclosing to the buyer the lease on the property and the type;
- depending on the buyer’s intentions with the property, what the contract requires and other factors, issuing an appropriate notice to leave at the right time;
- whether a seller-issued notice to leave is even practical? You might want the contract to be unconditional before terminating a tenancy. Will the tenant-desired end-of-lease timing still work out if the notice is given that late?
Considerations for a buyer of a tenanted property (who wants to live there)
If you are purchasing a property that is currently leased under a periodic tenancy (or a fixed term lease is about to become a periodic tenancy), and you intend to live in your newly purchased home, you should consider:
- your practical “move in” timing needs.
- the “move in” timing requirements of any Transfer Duty concessions you intend to use;
- whether the seller can (and is willing to) terminate the tenancy pre-settlement (and will the timing meet your requirements?)
- whether you can terminate the tenancy post-settlement (and will the timing meet your requirements?)
- the expected reliability of the proposed termination method? Eg. is your situation flexible enough for a slow-to-leave or disputing tenant?
Considerations for a buyer of a tenanted property (for investment)
If you are purchasing an investment property that is currently leased under a periodic tenancy, you should consider:
- whether you are happy to the current tenants continue residing, until you have a prescribed ground on which to issue a notice;
- whether you want to bring about termination of the periodic lease (via seller actions or buyer actions); or
- whether you want to try to bring about replacement of the periodic lease with a fixed term lease (via seller actions or buyer actions)
How this affects you if you are a tenant in a periodic tenancy lease
The new changes to the Queensland tenancy law do not affect a tenant’s rights, grounds, or notice period to give a “notice of intention to leave” to the landlord.
As always, a tenant can give a 2 weeks’ notice to their landlord to end their periodic tenancy.
As noted above, on 1 October 2022 the landlord will lose the ability to give a “without grounds” termination notice. A nervous landlord might:
- insist on a new fixed-term lease being signed; and/or
- terminate the current periodic tenancy “without grounds” while he/she still can; or
- terminate under a remaining valid ground at the first opportunity.
NOTE: the above comments are very general and based on possible scenarios. Individual circumstances will require specific solutions.
For more personalised legal advice based on your circumstances, please contact Wilson Lawyers on (07) 3392 0099.
Written by Julian Creagh, Associate and Anannya Mazumder, Lawyer – Wilson Lawyers