As you may be aware, the NSW Government recently released for community consultation a draft Bill to reform tenancy laws. The Bill is not law at this time and changes may be made to it as a result of this consultation before it is introduced to Parliament early in the new year. The Office of Fair Trading advises that it is unlikely that this new legislation will commence before July 2010.
EAC identified areas of concern and proposed changes that if implemented could create difficulties for agents and create a shortage of rental accommodation by driving investors to other more easily managed investment alternatives.
Matters of concern include the following:
- Scope of premises to which the Act will apply
- Abolition of tenant’s contribution to lease preparation cost
- Condition Reports
- Rent Receipts
- Water efficient premises and tenant usage charges
- Alterations by tenants to premises
- ‘No grounds’ termination notices
- Rent arrears evictions
- Reduction in bond for furnished premises
When Parliament passes the Bill, it will not come into effect immediately. The existing Regulations, including a revised standard lease and condition report, will need to be re-made and this will involve further public consultation. Given the expected changes to some documents, agents should carry lower levels of stock.
Agents will have ample time to implement changes when they become law and should be cautious of any specific advice given before this occurs.
It may well be several months before the exact detail on the new laws is available.
Be assured EAC will participate in the next consultation phase and keep you fully informed.