Landmark Rental Reforms To Commence

SA Gov

The Malinauskas Labor Government has overhauled South Australia’s rental laws with the biggest reforms in a generation set to take effect on 1 July.

These reforms represent the biggest improvements to our rental laws since the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Act in 1995 and lead the nation in delivering on National Cabinet’s plan for a Better Deal for Renters.

They will improve security for tenants facing record low vacancy rates, while still

ensuring the rights of landlords are protected.

From July 1:

  • Landlords will need prescribed grounds to terminate or not renew a tenancy;
  • The notice period to end a fixed tenancy will increase from 28 days to 60 days;
  • Tenants will be allowed to have pets in rental homes with clear guidelines;
  • Tenants’ information will be better protected;
  • Rental properties will have to comply with minimum housing standards; and
  • Additional options will be provided for victims of domestic violence.

For the first time, tenants will be allowed to keep pets in rental properties with clear guidelines to be set by their landlord such as keeping the animal outside or having the carpets cleaned at the end of the tenancy.

Landlords will only be able to end a periodic tenancy or not renew a fixed term lease for a prescribed reason including breaches by the tenant, wanting to sell, renovate or occupy the property.

The State Government has also increased the minimum notice to end a fixed tenancy from 28 days to 60 days so tenants will have more time to secure a new home and make the necessary arrangements to move.

The Malinauskas Government has also appointed RentRight SA to be our new Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service.

Their role will be to support tenants, as well as residents of residential parks. This includes advising and advocating for them to help resolve tenancy issues before the need for tribunal action. They will also provide financial counselling, help complete forms and tenancy letters and be onsite at the tribunal as well as delivering information sessions about tenancy rights and responsibilities.

They will also inform strategic and operational policy formation at both the agency and sector level including by preparing submissions about issues affecting tenants and residents for the government’s consideration.

The commencement of this suite of reforms is the largest action to date with the Malinauskas Government having acted consistently to address rental affordability since coming into government including by limiting the frequency of rent increases to once in a 12-month period, banning rent bidding and raising the bond threshold, which has already saved tenants more than $40 million since being introduced in April 2023.

The State Government has also made more people eligible for the Private Rental Assistance Scheme, which saves people on low-incomes thousands of dollars by avoiding the upfront costs including bond and rent in advance by providing bond guarantees and rent payments.

As put by Peter Malinauskas

We know that the only way to end the housing crisis is to build more homes, and this week we will be outlining our Roadmap to do just that.

But in the here and now, we’re making life fairer for renters.

South Australians shouldn’t have to choose between a pet and a home. Nor should they be evicted with no reason and little notice.

These sensible measures that take effect from July 1 will make life easier for renters, while protecting the rights of property owners.

As put by Andrea Michaels

These are the most significant reforms to South Australia’s rental laws in a generation and they will make a big difference for tenants across South Australia.

We have acted decisively to address the rental crisis and improve security for tenants while also ensuring the rights of landlords are protected.

No longer will tenants have to make the devastating choice of giving up a beloved pet or having a roof over their head.

Nor will they have to madly scramble to find a new home in 28 days or face the prospect of being evicted for no reason.

As put by Andrea Heading, Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute of South Australia

We have worked collaboratively with the Government and our members to ensure that the reforms in South Australia are equitably balanced and protect the interests of both landlords and tenants.

Our work together has introduced legislation that is the most balanced in the country.

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