17th October 2018 saw the passing of the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Bill 2018.
The key changes, according to Minister for Innovation & Better Regulation, Matt Kean include:
• The introduction of a new minimum standard for properties
• Restricting rent increases for periodic leases to once a year
• The ability for tenants to make minor alterations to properties
• The ability for tenants to get rectification orders from Fair Trading for repairs
• The ability for victims of domestic violence to break a lease without incurring a penalty
This has certainly evened up the balance of power between investors & tenants. The concern here is if the investors will accept these changes or decide it’s all too hard & offload their investment properties.
Whilst I believe that allowing victims of domestic violence to break leases without penalty is good, someone should be held responsible for damage & losses to the landlord. Breaking of leases is also a concern but it depends how this will be allowed in the lease as currently the landlord has the choice to allow lease break or not. The bill is not in effect and the date is unknown as the Governor of NSW, David Hurley will need to give his assent. We will keep you updated as more information unfolds.
Author: Stephen Thompson