Renters given more rights

Published: 21 Sep 2018

Under new changes introduced into Parliament, tenants will be able to make minor alterations to their home and should not expect rent rises for periods less than 12 months.

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.”

Find out more about tenant and landlord rights.

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