Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Residential Tenancies Update

The Residential Tenancies Bill 2010 has been introduced to the NSW Parliament and is expected to pass during the current Parliamentary session.

In its current form, (see link below to download a copy), the amended Bill appears to have addressed only some of the concerns expressed by the many industry stakeholders in relation to reforms contained in the Draft Bill released late 2009. Examples of issues include:

  • The proposed tenant right to break a fixed term lease during the fixed term with the payment of a "break fee" has been removed.
  • Improved definition of what constitutes "minor" changes or alterations to the premises and the requirement for the tenant to obtain written consent from the landlord.

Proposed amendments, which include the 90-day notice for "no grounds" termination of a periodic tenancy, the 30-day notice to end a fixed term tenancy and the abolition of the tenant's contribution to the lease preparation, remain unchanged in the Bill. It is important to note that the proposed amendment (Section 89) - termination and repossession on ground of non-payment of rent also remains unchanged.

For those agents who reviewed the first draft of the Bill you will also note other changes in the amended Bill, for example:

  • Requirement to give the tenant minimum 14 days written notice of landlord's intention to sell before the premises are first made available for inspection by prospective purchasers.
  • A tenant is not required to agree to the premises being available for inspection by prospective purchasers more than twice a week.
  • The removal of the 20 unit penalty for the tenant failure to comply with their duty to give access.

It is uncertain whether there will be any further amendments introduced during the Bill's passage through Parliament. Once the Bill is passed, the Regulations will be written and then released for a final consultation period. This process of preparation and stakeholder consultation is likely to take some 2-3 months. Having said that it appears that it is the Government's intention to have this legislation in operation prior to year's end, October/November has been suggested.

If this timing is correct, there will be a lot to be done in a very short time given the nature and extent of the changes, as we currently understand them.

It is important to keep in mind that NOTHING can happen until the Regulations are written and gazetted.

When the final form of the Bill is clear and the Regulations settled be assured that EAC will provide you with all the information and training required.

For more information go to the website below:

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