SWEEPING REFORMS FOR TENANT RIGHTS IN NORTHERN TABLELANDS

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

RENTING families can now make their house feel more like a home, under the NSW Government’s comprehensive reform to residential tenancy laws, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced today.

Mr Marshall said more than 30 per cent of the NSW population were now renting and the common sense changes were a win-win for all.

“Renting families now have greater clarity around what minor alterations they can carry out to a property, such as installing picture hooks to hang family photos,” Mr Marshall said.

“Tenants will also enjoy a set of basic standards so their home is up to scratch when they move in.”

Under the changes, all rental properties in NSW must meet a set of liveable standards, including:
• Adequate natural or artificial lighting and ventilation;
• Adequate outlets for heating and appliances;
• A structurally sound building; and,
• Access to electricity or gas.

“There are around 9,278 people who rent houses or units in our region, so this is a great outcome for our local communities,” Mr Marshall said. “These reforms have struck the right balance for our local residents, by increasing tenant’s rights, while also protecting a landlord’s investment.”

Mr Marshall said concerns around retaliatory rent increases had been addressed by restricting rent increases to once every 12 months for fixed-term leases.

“The changes also strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence, allowing tenants to escape a violent partner by immediately breaking a lease without penalty,” he said.

“Victims are protected from being listed on a tenancy database by agents or landlords where a debt or property damage arose because of a violent partner.”

NSW Fair Trading will also have new powers to investigate disputes between tenants and landlords and issue rectification orders.

“Fair Trading received more than 2,800 complaints about residential tenancy issues in 2017-18, which shows just how crucial these forms are,” Mr Marshall said.

For more information on the NSW residential tenancy reforms package visit www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or phone 13 32 20.

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