Changes to the residential tenancy laws start on 23 March 2020, with amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (the Act) and the new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 (the new Regulation).
The changes aim to reduce disputes over repairs and maintenance, increase protection and certainty for tenants and clarify the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords.
All NSW landlords are required to ensure that their rented properties meet the minimum standards and that these standards are met at the start of each tenancy and must be maintained throughout the tenancy.
From 23 March 2020, a tenant will be able to end their tenancy agreement by giving at least 14 days’ notice if the landlord or agent fails to comply with any of the information disclosure obligations.
A tenant can also apply to the Tribunal for an order to end the tenancy. The Tribunal will also have the discretion to order the landlord to compensate the tenant for any costs incurred as a result of ending the tenancy agreement.
Pursuant to recent changes in the Interpretation Act 1987, service by post is taken to have been effected on the 7th (seventh) working day after the letter was posted, unless there is sufficient evidence to the contrary.
Working day is defined to mean a day that is not:
(a) a Saturday or Sunday; or
(b) a public holiday or a bank holiday in the place to which the letter was addressed.
The Home Building Regulation has been amended to classify external flammable wall cladding as a major defect.
Homeowners who purchase units or townhouses with unsafe external wall cladding, will now have up to six years after completion of the build to get repairs or rectification work done by the builder responsible for the project.
Real Estate Agents, Strata Managing Agents, Building, Property or Maintenance Managers must ensure the buildings are safe by checking the external wall cladding, and ensure that the appropriate fire safety measures are in place.
Whilst there is a number of recent changes to the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act one notable change commencing on 1 March 2018, is that section 149(2)&(5) Certificates will now be known as section 10.7(2)&(5) Certificates – below is a link to the relevant legislation.
Please also note that Schedule 4 of the Regulation, which deals with Planning Certificates has also been amended by the inclusion of a new Item 21 requiring the Council to state if an Order or Notice has been issued under the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017, which received assent late last year.
NB This article is provided for reference purposes only, and is not to be considered as legal advice. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Penny Browne Conveyancing direct.