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Sweeping reforms for tenant rights

Posted by NSW Finance, Services & Innovation on 21 September 2018

Tenants will be able to make their houses feel like homes under comprehensive reforms being introduced to Parliament today. 

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said almost a third of the NSW population is renting, and with that number growing each year, these reforms will give them a huge boost. 

"Under these common sense changes, renting families will be able to make minor alterations such as installing a picture hook to hang their family photos and will benefit from a new set of minimum standards to ensure properties are in a liveable condition," Mr Kean said. 

The minimum standards include: 

  • Basic access to electricity and gas;
  • Structurally sound buildings; 
  • Adequate natural or artificial lighting, as well as ventilation; and, 
  • Adequate outlets for lighting, heating and appliances

NSW Fair Trading received around 1,200 complaints in 2017/18 relating to maintenance and repair issues, which was 40% of all tenancy complaints in that period. 

"Under these reforms tenants who need repairs done can get rectification order from Fair Trading, saving them from an expensive and time consuming litigation," Mr Kean said. 

The reforms also give security to tenants be restricting rent increases for periodic leases to once every 12 months, and include set fees for breaking a fixed-term lease. 

"While our comprehensive reforms get the balance right, Labor wants to tell people how to live their lives by forcing renters into minimum 12 month leases. This hurts students, workers and future home owners who need flexibility," Mr Kean said. 

Mr Kean also said victims of domestic violence would be able to immediately break a lease with no penalty if they have a provisional AVO or a declaration from a medical professional. 

"Victims are protected from being listen on a tenancy database by agents or landlords where a debt or property damage arose because of a violent partner," he said. 

For more information on tenant and landlord renting rights, click here


Author: NSW Finance, Services & Innovation
Tags: Consumer Information

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