Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019

Submission cover sheet

  • Name of organisation or individual making this submission

    Stone Manly

  • Authorised delegate/contact person

    Samantha Macri

  • Position

  • Organisation

Questions on possible options

  1. Is a 2 December 2019 commencement date for the proposed Regulation and Amendment Act reasonable for industry participants to adjust to the changes? If not, why?

    No It takes time for agents to understand and create processes around changes. 12 months from the change date allows for all tenants to be signed onto new agreements and for agents to create processes for all changes. We wont necessarily deal with each change every day to become accustomed to it.

  2. Is a mid-2020 date appropriate for commencement of the new minimum standards for rental properties? If not, why?

    Yes, so long as this is at least 6 months from the release of changes.

  3. Are there other terms in the proposed Regulation that should be defined so that their meaning is clear?

    The word "reasonable" should be updated. It is used 71 times in the Legislation and 21 times in the Tenancy Agreement but is not defined. It is far too subjective and covers a range of topics. "Reasonable" cleaning, "Reasonable" time to respond needs to be defined to minimise confusion and misinterpretation.

  4. Does the new standard form of tenancy agreement clearly define the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants?

    No, I cant really see any positive changes from a comprehension point-of-view

  5. Are there other ways that the standard form of tenancy agreement can be improved? If so, how?

    There needs to be an over-arching statement explaining the requirements of landlords and tenants. This should set the tone for the document clearly and succinctly to minimise misinterpretation of clauses.

  6. Are there any other terms that should be prohibited from being included in a residential tenancy agreement?

    Tenants should not be permitted to insert clauses waiving a break-lease agreement.

  7. Do you agree that these terms should not be excluded or modified by a fixed term agreement of 20 years or more?

  8. Are there other terms in the Act that should not be excluded or modified in fixed term agreements of 20 years or more?

  9. Do you think that the proposed condition report is easy to use?

    Yes

  10. Should any other features be included in the condition report to help accurately describe the condition of the premises?

    Perhaps there could be an overall range for the property to be agreed by the tenant and landlord. Propertys overall state of repair is HIGH (new building/recently renovated) MODERATE (older building, not renovated by no damage) LOW (old property, high levels of wear throughout)

  11. For the material fact listed under clause 8(f), are there other instances where a landlord could become aware that the property has been used to manufacture drugs?

    No, unless a landlord is officially informed, the claims could be false

  12. Are the prescribed timeframes for disclosing each of the material facts listed under clause 8, still appropriate? If not, why?

    Yes

  13. Are the proposed material facts listed under clause 8 too broad or too narrow? If yes, why?

    No

  14. Are there other types of material facts that a landlord or landlord’s agent should disclose to a prospective tenant?

    Unknown

  15. Are clauses 9, 10 and 11 still appropriate? If so, why?

    -

  16. Are there any other charges that should apply to social housing tenants?

    -

  17. Are there other water efficiency measures that should be prescribed? If so, why?

    I think tenants should start paying for water regardless. Rental prices are not always sufficient to cover these expenses and charging water & back to tenants would prevent tenants in unmetered properties using excess water.

  18. Is the newly drafted clause 13 appropriate? If not, why?

    Yes

  19. Do the requirements appropriately balance tenant safety with administrative costs to landlords and agents? If not, why?

    Yes

  20. Are there other circumstances where repairs to a smoke alarm should be carried out by a qualified professional? If so, why?

    No

  21. Are any of the smoke alarm repair requirements unclear? If so, why?

    If a landlord is responsible for the smoke alarm working regardless of a tenant changing batteries or advising if they require changing, what would happen where a landlord changes an alarm as required annually, but 2 days later the batteries die, the tenant does not report this and there is a fire? Is there an assumption that if the alarm is changed annually, that is the end of the owners obligation and what is the tenant obligation should a fire occur due to them not reporting a fault?

  22. How much notice should a tenant give a landlord to carry out repairs to a smoke alarm, given the need to repair it urgently?

    It should reflect the owners requirement of 72 hours

  23. Do you agree that the prescribed list of minor alterations is reasonable? If not, why?

    Yes, as long as it is clear that tenants should make-good on vacating.

  24. Do you agree with the list of alterations where consent may be conditional on having the work carried out by a qualified tradesperson? If not, why?

    Yes, but I also believe tenants should maintain a property for minor repairs if they have resided in the home for more than 1 year. Examples are loose hinges on doors, holes in fly screens etc. This way the tenants take more responsibility for living in the home and causing wear.

  25. Are there other types of minor alterations that should be prescribed, including measures to further improve accessibility for elderly or disabled tenants?

    No

  26. Do you agree with the list of exceptions? If not, why?

    No.

  27. Are there any other situations where clause 17 should not apply?

    This list should include a tenancy of less than 1 year.

  28. Do you have any suggestions on how the wording and layout of the declaration form could be improved?

    no

  29. Should the exemptions provided for in clauses 19-26 continue to apply? If not, why?

    yes

  30. Is the new exemption provided by clause 27 appropriate? If not, why?

    yes

  31. Is the new exemption provided by clauses 28 appropriate? If not, why?

    -

  32. Is the new exemption provided by clause 29 appropriate? If not, why?

    -

  33. Is the new exemption provided by clause 30 appropriate? If not, why?

    yes

  34. Is the exemption provided by clause 31 appropriate? If not, why?

    -

  35. Are the timeframes for making applications to the Tribunal adequate? If not, why?

    Yes

  36. Is the jurisdictional limit set for rental bond and other matters adequate? If not, why?

    No. It is too high and would further block the tribunal system. I think the figures should only be relevant to damages to the actual property or personal harm to a tenant.

  37. Are there any unintended consequences in prescribing a cumulative amount where an order is made with respect to both a rental bond and another matter?

    This could open the door for exorbitant compensation claims if not clearly defined.

  38. Should an interest rate on rental bonds still be prescribed? Why?

    -

  39. Are the prescribed savings and transitional provisions appropriate?

  40. Are any other savings or transitional provisions required?

  41. Are the changes to penalty amounts in the proposed Regulation appropriate?

    could not find amounts

At our discretion we may remove parts of submissions because of length, content, appropriateness or confidentiality (privacy) reasons.

Website https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

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