NSW Residential Tenancy Law Review


Tenancy-Agreement 650 x 488

The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 includes provisions for the current minister to “…conduct a review after five years to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether its terms remain appropriate for securing those objectives.”

It’s comforting to know that our legislation is progressive enough to allow for corrections. Nothing is perfect, and this review allows for the public at large whether individually or through special interest groups, to voice an opinion of changes that would benefit the community through property legislation.

Public submissions closed on 29 January 2016 and the NSW Fair Trading has been reviewing those submissions. On the 17th of June they released “Residential Tenancies Act 2010 – Statutory Review” outlining their recommendations with an explanation for each.

Amendments to Act will be drafted in 2017.

Recommendations include

• Clarity on shared housing arrangements.
• Disclosure requirements, particularly for properties used in drug crime.
• Strata by-laws – to be issued to tenants when signing a lease.
• Update to the Tenant’s checklist to include safety requirements.
• Rental Bonds
– Remain at 4 weeks.
– Abolish the payment of interest to tenants.
– All landlords/agents register with Rental Bonds online.
• Ability for condition reports to contain photos.
• Agent/landlord to consult with the tenant for the use of internal photos for marketing.
• Water usage – more clarity on what is “separately metered premises”.
• Rent increases – no need to send “60 days’ notice” if increase is already documented in a fixed term lease.
• Repairs
– Allowance for a tenant to terminate a lease based on repairs not being carried out.
– Time-frames for repairs.
– Authority for the Tribunal to order the landlord to carry out repairs.
• Alterations – landlord may not unreasonably refuse consent for minor alterations that would make the premises livable for disabled or elderly tenants.
• Changes to the Act that will encourage long term leases.
• A better method for calculating a tenant’s liability when breaking a lease.
• Domestic Violence – make it easier for victims of domestic violence to terminate a lease.
• Residential tenancy databases – tenants not to be charged to find out if they are listed.
• Allow for notices to be served electronically.

The full report can be downloaded here

To see different tenancy legislations in different states see our link “Renting in Australia- One Country, Eight Different Rules”
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