NSW Rental Laws Changed

Market Insights
8 years ago
2 minutes

The way forward for the state’s 800,000 rental properties will be determined by the NSW Government following consultation with key stakeholders, according to Real Estate Institute of New South Wales. 

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said the industry body has made a detailed submission as part of the Statutory Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

“This legislation is only reviewed every five years and it is important that NSW Fair Trading gets it right,” Mr McKibbin said.

“A lot of people are dependent on the regulatory environment with around 800,000 tenancies in NSW. This is therefore a very important piece of legislation as it prescribes the way in which people living in tenancies will be governed,” he said. 

In anticipation of the review, the REINSW Property Management Chapter Committee formed a dedicated sub-committee in June 2015 to identify those areas in the current legislation requiring reform.

“The sub-committee sought input from members and considered that input as part of their overall review of the legislation. Once the sub-committee completed their assessment, a comprehensive report was compiled to form the basis of REINSW’s submission,” Mr McKibbin said. 

The Submission to NSW Fair Trading makes detailed comment on the following topics:

  • bonds;
  • holding fees;
  • NCAT hearings;
  • bringing awareness of the landlord’s and tenant’s obligations in relation to their respective safety obligations;
  • quiet enjoyment and clarifying the landlord’s responsibilities in relation to neighbouring properties not owned by the landlord;
  • carpet cleaning,
  • smoking;
  • surveillance cameras;
  • mould;
  • pest control;
  • the safety and standard of the residential property;
  • inspections;
  • concerns regarding the requirements placed on property managers with regard to the safety and standards of residential property;
  • termination of tenancies and eviction orders;
  • issues arising in relation to the sale of a property; and
  • the electronic service of notices.

Mr McKibbin said modern forms of communication should be utilised.

“REINSW cannot see any reason why email should not be a legislated method of service for agents, landlords and tenants,” Mr McKibbin said.

The Submission also recognises that there are areas in the Act and in the standard residential tenancy agreement which require review and amendment in order to:

  • address frequently encountered residential tenancy issues for the parties;
  • remedy the imbalance of outcomes achieved via the application of the legislation;
  • remove some of the unintended unfair consequences in the current Act; 
  • create a better residential tenancy system for all parties involved and for the economy generally.