Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019

Submission cover sheet

  • Name of organisation or individual making this submission

    Anonymous

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/landlords 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, as long as there is a minimum period of 6 months provided prior to the change.

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

    The word "reasonable" should be made more clear throughout the tenancy agreement and legislation. It needs to be a clear black and white wording to describe what would be reasonable.

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

    Yes. Except for the wording "reasonable"

  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 unless it is due to military requirements. The break lease fee included in the new tenancy agreement seems to be unfair for the landlord. The fee suggested would allow a tenant to break their lease agreement easily. The fee I would suggest is that there is the increments but also including reimbursement for landlords cost for reletting for example: a, 4 weeks rent if less than 25% of the fixed term expired and including landlords costs associated with re-letting of (e.g 1 weeks letting fee of 110%, advertising costs of $330, lease preparation $55) (b) 3 weeks rent if 25% or more but less than 50% of the fixed term has expired and including landlords costs associated with re-letting of (e.g 1 weeks letting fee of 110%, advertising costs of $330, lease preparation $55) (c) 2 weeks rent if 50% or more but less than 75% of the fixed term has expired and including landlords costs associated with re-letting of (e.g 1 weeks letting fee of 110%, advertising costs of $330, lease preparation $55) (d) 1 week’s rent if 75% or more of the fixed term has expired and including landlords costs associated with re-letting of (e.g 1 weeks letting fee of 110%, advertising costs of $330, lease preparation $55) This would assist the landlord in mitigating their loss due to a break of the tenancy 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?

    A landlord should have the right to still terminate an agreement if the tenant breaches their agreement.

  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?

  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?

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

  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?

    Tenant should start paying for water regardless as long as there is no leaks throughout the property. Tenants should be required to replace washers on taps during their tenancy to avoid leaking taps. If the tap has other issues this would come under landlords responsibility.

  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?

  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, replacing washers on taps 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?

    yes

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

    If the premises is being leased for a short period (less than 12 months).

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

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

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

  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?

  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. Any claims above $15,000 over the bond should go to a civil proceeding rather than through the tribunal.

  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?

  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?

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

©