The new minimum standards include:
- basic access to electricity and gas
- structurally sound buildings
- adequate natural or artificial lighting, as well as ventilation
- adequate outlets for lighting, heating and appliances.
The changes also restrict rent increases for periodic leases to once every 12 months and include set fees for breaking a fixed-term lease.
Victims of domestic violence will be able to immediately break a lease with no penalty if they have a provisional Apprehended Violence Order or a declaration from a medical professional. They are also protected from being listed on a tenancy database where debt or property damage arose because of a violent partner.
Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said almost a third of the NSW population is renting, and with that number growing each year, these reforms will give them a huge boost.
“Under these common sense changes, renting families will be able to make minor alternations such as installing a picture hook to hang their family photos and will benefit from a new set of minimum standards to ensure properties are in a liveable condition,” Mr Kean said.
“Under these reforms tenants who need repairs done can get rectification orders from Fair Trading, saving them from expensive and time consuming litigation.”