Queensland’s Parliament has passed new laws that could see strata tenants banned from smoking outdoors.
The legislation also includes protections for pet owners. It banns owners of townhouses or units from creating blanket bans on pets.
Here’s what’s changing.
The QLD Government has passed a raft of residential reforms for tenants and landlords of ‘lots’ where there are two or more properties. These lots typically include shared spaces such as lifts or carparks.
The new laws increase the powers for bodies corporate, who are the groups of owners of multi-property buildings. External strata companies coordinate with the body corporate to organise maintenance and repairs.
New smoking laws
The new laws mean a building’s body corporate will have the power to ban residents from smoking in common and outdoor areas. Landlords need to approve a ban.
This could ban cigarette and vape use on balconies, patios and verandahs. The ban can’t include the indoor area of a home. Specific provisions protecting residents from second-hand smoke also apply.
The law adds a framework for pets in multi-property lots. It could prevent automatic restrictions on how many or what type of pet a tenant can own.
A building cannot reject an application without a reason that meets specific criteria. The criteria includes if there is another tenant in the lot who has a severe allergy.
Owners will also be asked to consider adding special conditions to accommodate pets and tenants, such as requirements for pets to be on a lead in some areas.
Home buyer support
The laws include measures to improve certainty for buyers during the purchase of a property, including making it harder for developers to terminate a contract. Under the changes, a buyer or a court must provide consent before a contract is terminated (with the exception of some ‘extraordinary’ situations).
The legislation will also make it easier for a group of owners to collectively sell property lots. For a sale to progress, 100% of landowners need to support it. This will now reduce to a 75% majority if the sale is for economic reasons.
Members of the Liberal-National Opposition and Greens opposed lowering the threshold for the collective sale of a lot.
There was concern that this measure would lead to excessive property development, which would slow housing supply and exacerbate housing insecurity.
The legislation was passed with the support of the Labor Government, which has a majority of seats in QLD’s one house of Parliament.