The Palaszczuk Government has released its terms of reference for the targeted investigation into unregistered boarding houses.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the three month targeted investigation is designed to draw out services that have been operating under the radar. The process will focus on safety and security, potential rent gouging of vulnerable people, misleading and deceptive conduct and the supervision and welfare of residents in boarding houses.
“I am quite concerned by some of the representations that have been made to my department about conduct in unregistered boarding houses, and this process will shine a light on practices that need to be improved,” he said.
“Unregistered boarding houses are environments with limited protections, leaving vulnerable people open to intimidation, violence and exploitation."
Mr de Brenni said that as part of the investigation, unregistered operators would be given the opportunity to become registered without immediate sanction.
“The terms of reference includes an amnesty from prosecution for operating an unregistered service if they take immediate action to comply with relevant legislation.
“Our goal is to make sure that people are living in safe and secure accommodation. We aren’t out to punish people who want to do the right thing.
“If people volunteer to become a registered provider my Department will offer them every assistance to make that happen.”
Mr de Brenni said that he appreciated the information provided by members of the public since the review was announced two weeks ago.
“I want to assure people coming forward with information that all reports will be treated confidentially by my Department."
Members of the public, service providers, advocates and other stakeholders are encouraged to report their concerns about illegal accommodation premises.
The terms of reference for the investigation can be found at: www.hpw.qld.gov.au/reportillegalboardinghouseactivity
If a person suspects that there is an unregistered boarding house or wants to make a contribution to the review they should contact the Department of Housing and Public Works Regulatory Services telephone on 07 3008 3450 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org