RTA draft Regulation consultation underway

The draft Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 (NSW) is now open for public consultation. The closing date for public and industry submissions is Friday, 2 August 2019.

The Government’s Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) – which accompanied the proposed Regulation explains the objectives and rationale of the proposed regulation and its impacts – poses 41 questions, one of which addresses the commencement date and its appropriateness.

The Regulation provides the administrative detail to support the operation of the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Act 2018 (NSW) (the Amendment Act), which was passed in October 2018.

NSW Fair Trading has proposed that provisions in the Amendment Act and the new Regulation are expected to commence on Monday, 2 December 2019 but that this date is subject to stakeholder consultation through the Regulatory Impact Statement process.

REINSW is working on a submission that will respond to the proposed draft Regulation.

NSW Fair Trading states the proposed draft Regulation has been prepared to support the changes to the Amendment Act, implement the majority of recommendations of the statutory review and modernise the provisions within current Regulation.

NSW Fair Trading’s website sets out some of the changes in the draft Regulation, which include:

  • Expanding the list of material facts that landlords or their agents must not knowingly conceal from a prospective tenant to include drug crimes
  • Prescribing the manner and the period for landlords to carry out repairs to a smoke alarm, and prescribing the conditions under which a tenant may replace a battery in a smoke alarm
  • Establishing a list of minor alterations that a tenant can carry out, where it would be unreasonable for a landlord to withhold consent, and specifying which alterations may be carried out by a qualified person
  • Providing mandatory terms that cannot be modified or excluded from fixed-term tenancy agreements of 20 years or more
  • Increasing the limit on the monetary jurisdiction of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal
  • Providing an option for a five-year fixed term in the standard form of agreement to encourage landlords and tenants to consider longer term leases
  • Updating the standard form of residential tenancy agreement and condition report
  • Expanding the list of offences under the Act for which penalty notices may be issued and increasing the penalty amount that may be imposed
  • Simplifying clauses to make it easier to read and to improve consistency

“As with the statutory review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW), REINSW is focussed on achieving fair and equitable outcomes for all stakeholders,” says REINSW CEO, Tim McKibbin.

“Over one-third of NSW households rent their homes. Therefore, it’s important that the proposed Regulation meets the needs of tenants and landlords/investors, as well as the agents who manage the properties.”

Currently, reforms relating to domestic violence as set out in the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Circumstances of Domestic Violence) Regulation 2018 (NSW) – which commenced on Thursday, 28 February 2019 – are the only reforms derived from the Amendment Act that are currently in force.

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