New Residential Tenancy Laws

Monday 23 Mar 2020

Changes to NSW tenancy laws came into effect this week.

NSW Office of Fair Trading envisage the changes will:

  • reduce disputes over repairs and maintenance
  • increase protection and certainty for tenants
  • clarify the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords
  • improve transparency between these two parties

Key changes include:

  • NSW landlords must ensure that their rental property meets 7 minimum standards to be ‘fit for habitation’
  • new and improved disclosure obligations on landlords and their agents, including disclosure of material facts, and strengthening the remedies for tenants when these obligations aren’t met
  • landlords must ensure that smoke alarms are in working order. A penalty will apply for landlords who don’t comply
  • making it easier for tenants to install fixtures or make alterations, additions or renovations that are minor
  • mandatory set fees when a tenant breaks their lease will apply to all new fixed-term agreements that are 3 years or less
  • limiting rent increases to once every 12 months for periodic (continuing) leases
  • new powers for NSW Fair Trading to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords. This includes powers to investigate and issue rectification orders to require landlords to carry out repairs and maintenance, or tenants to fix damage

Our property management team have recently attended seminars organised by REINSW & NSW Office of Fair Trading to assist us with these legislative changes. Many of our questions have been answered, but many still require clarification. Once we have the appropriate information verified with NSW OFT we will advise & update our valued property management clients.

Now more than ever you need a professional property management team behind you, managing your valuable investment property. Simple legislative mistakes or non-compliance can be very costly to you as an investor/landlord.