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QCAT residential tenancy disputes advisory: Six-month COVID-19 moratorium ends

A six-month moratorium covering residential tenancy and rooming accommodation matters, introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has ended.

However, other provisions are to continue until the end of the year.

On 29 September 2020, the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2020 (Amendment Regulation) commenced, amending the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 (the Regulation).

The Amendment Regulation means that the six-month moratorium and measures to support it cease to apply after 29 September 2020, including:

  • fixed-term agreement extensions for COVID-19-impacted tenants
  • ending agreement provisions that prevent property owners from ending tenancies with COVID-19-impacted tenants without grounds and provide additional grounds for parties to end tenancies
  • adjusted rent and bond processes that support parties to negotiate arrangement to manage the COVID-19 impacts on their tenancies
  • mandatory conciliation of COVID-19-related tenancy disputes through the Residential Tenancies Authority.

However, the following protections continue until 31 December 2020:

  • provisions allowing tenants experiencing domestic and family violence to end their tenancies quickly
  • protections for tenants against being listed in a tenancy database for rent arrears caused by COVID-19 impacts
  • limits on reletting costs for eligible tenants who end their fixed-term lease early
  • short-term tenancy statement extensions for moveable dwellings
  • entry restrictions and requirements to support COVID-19 social distancing measures
  • relaxed repair and maintenance obligations.

The Amendment Regulation provides for transitional arrangements. These transitional arrangements mean that, for matters which have not been finalised, the former provisions (those introduced by the Regulation) continue to apply. Additionally, this also means that applications can be made to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) under the former provisions, and QCAT can make orders accordingly.

For example, the following are not affected by the Amendment Regulation:

  • the validity of an action taken or started under the repealed section before 30 September 2020
  • an agreement made under the repealed section before 30 September 2020
  • a notice given under the repealed section before 30 September 2020
  • preventing the conclusion of a matter, started before 30 September 2020, as provided for under the repealed section (for example, order from tribunal about unpaid rent).

As a result of these changes, please note that the following have been updated:

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One Response

  1. The complex BII Insurance issues in FCA v Arch Insurance QBE etc [2020] EWHC 2448 (Comm); the embargo on all Landlord Insurance (including attached PI cover); and the issues in Sneakerboy [2020] NSWSC 996 all deserve some attention.

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