Have your say on rental reforms
The NSW Government is seeking community feedback from the real estate industry, tenants and housing groups on two public consultations relating to residential tenancy laws, and whether any improvements should be made for people living in rental properties.
Minister for Fair Trading Victor Dominello said the first would request feedback on improvements to 2019 laws which allow people to terminate residential leases in order to escape violent relationships.
“These laws empower victims of domestic violence to take direct and immediate action to end a fixed-term or periodic tenancy without penalty, including ending a tenancy agreement to protect a dependent child,” Mr Dominello said.
“The changes were introduced to reduce some of the barriers preventing victims from fleeing domestic violence and to give greater certainty about ending the tenancy.”
The laws also ensure victims are not responsible for any damage caused by a domestic violence perpetrator during a domestic violence offence.
Non-perpetrator co-tenant/s have a two-week grace period where they only have to pay a portion of the rent, giving them time to find a new co-tenant or apply to the Tribunal to have their tenancy terminated.
The NSW Government is also seeking input from landlords and tenants on the rules about keeping pets in rental homes to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.
“Although pet ownership is on the rise, NSW landlords can refuse to allow a tenant to keep an animal without providing any reason - unless it’s an assistance animal,” Mr Dominello said.
“We are aware other jurisdictions have reformed their laws to make it easier to keep pets in rental properties, and we want to hear feedback from tenants, property managers, landlords and the general public on our current rules and whether they should be changed.”
Minister for Women’s Safety and Domestic Violence Natalie Ward said these consultations will help boost the NSW Government’s coordinated response to domestic and family violence.
“The NSW Government is committed to making sure families feel safe and live free of domestic violence,” Mrs Ward said.
“The 2019 reforms were an important step in reducing the barriers for victim-survivors who need to escape violent circumstances and receive support.
“We encourage people to reach out and Have Your Say through consultation. We know sharing personal experiences about domestic violence can be difficult, but will be immensely important in helping shape any reforms that might be needed to the current laws.”
You can have your say by answering a quick poll, completing a survey or writing a submission at:
Review of domestic violence rental laws
The consultations are open until 2 December 2022.
For more information or to seek help on ending a tenancy due to domestic violence, please visit the Department of Fair Trading website's Domestic violence in a rented property page.