Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill Reaches Second Reading31 Jul 2020

The Social Services and Community Committee (Select Committee) reported back to Parliament with their recommendations on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill.

The Bill is currently in its Second Reading, which means that Parliament will now review the recommendations made by the Select Committee. The provisions of the Bill will be examined in further detail by the Committee of the Whole House and once the final form of the Bill is agreed, it will be ready for its Third Reading. If the Bill is passed in its Third Reading, it will receive Royal Assent and become law six months later.

The key changes for landlords and tenants are to the termination of tenancies, extended notice periods, limitation to annual rent increases, consent for minor alterations, banning of rental bidding, and changes that will provide the regulator with new tools to take action against parties that do not meet their obligations.

Some additional recommendations have been made by the Select Committee:

  • Anti-social behaviour clause – recommendation that if challenged by the tenant, the onus is on the landlord to prove the anti-social behaviour.
  • Landlords who fail to ensure that the contents of the tenancy agreement includes all the required information are committing an unlawful act and exemplary damages may apply.
  • Landlords must respond in writing to a request for an assignment or break-lease within a reasonable time. Non-compliance is an unlawful act.
  • If a tenancy has been terminated so that an owner or family member can move in, or for a change of use, or to undertake renovations, the change must either occur or commence within 90 days of termination.

Harcourts property managers receive the most up to date information about changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and are equipped with the knowledge and skills to ensure that our clients meet their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act and subsequent amendments.

You can read the Select Committee report here.

You can view the progress of the Bill here.

This article is featured in Harcourts' Property Management Focus Newsletter Issue 7, 2020.