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Changes to Tenancy Laws from 23 March

With more than 30 percent of the NSW population now renting, changes to NSW tenancy laws are timely and critical as demand for quality rental properties continues to grow.

The changes improve tenants’ renting experience while ensuring landlords can effectively manage their properties. The changes aim to reduce disputes over repairs and maintenance, increase protection and certainty for tenants, and clarify the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords.

The following information highlights the key changes starting on 23 March 2020.

Key changes include:

· landlords must ensure that their rental property meets 7 minimum standards to be ‘fit for habitation’

· new and improved disclosure obligations on landlords and agents as well as new remedies for tenants when these obligations aren’t met

· landlords must ensure that smoke alarms are in working order

· 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 leases that are 3 years or less

· limiting rent increases to once every 12 months for periodic (continuing) leases

· new powers for 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.

More detailed information on the new laws is available from the NSW Fair Trading Website:

https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/about-fair-trading/legislation-and-publications/changes-to-legislation/new-residential-tenancy-laws