Fears new rental laws may increase price pressures

Major reforms like outlawing rental bidding have passed in Queensland but not all housing bodies support the changes.

Nearly two million renters in the state will be protected by strengthened laws that ban any form of rent bidding and only allow rent to be increased once a year on a property.

"These reforms are about making renting fairer, safer and easier," Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon said in a statement.

"It means renters won't have to bid more than advertised to secure a rental, that they'll have their privacy protected and a new code of conduct will stamp out unprofessional practices."

Under the reform, re-letting costs will be limited based on how long is left on a fixed-term lease, fee-free options have to be provided to renters and any claims from a property manager to be detracted from a bond must be supported by evidence.

Landlords will also have to provide 48 hours entry notice and a set form will be introduced for applications prescribing what documentation is needed from the prospective renter.

But the Real Estate Institute of Queensland said the reforms missed the mark, with changes to maximum bonds opening the door to an influx of refund applications.

"Previously, there was no maximum rental bond if weekly rent was more than $700, but now a maximum limit of four weeks' rent will apply to all general tenancies irrespective of the weekly rent," CEO Antonia Mercorella said.

"Our key concern is that this may lead to an avalanche of refund requests from tenants with bonds higher than the new limit."

The body shared similar fears about the limits on rental price increases opening the doors to pressure property managers due to a lack of consultation.

Ms Mercorella also raised concerns the changes would not benefit tenants in the intended way, with possible higher costs on break fees and more inflated rents.

"The government has conceded that attaching rent increases to the property (rather than the tenancy) may cause rents to inflate, as lessors attempt to protect against uncertainty of longer time frames between rent increases," she said.

The latest tranche of reforms follow earlier legislation that ended without grounds evictions and introduced minimum housing standards.

It also made it easier to have a pet and gave renters experiencing domestic violence the right to end their tenancy with limited liability for end-of-lease costs.

The changes come after Brisbane became Australia's third most expensive city with a 0.9 per cent rental vacancy rate in the March quarter.