Local renting families can now make their house feel more like a home, under the NSW Government’s comprehensive reform to residential tenancy laws.
Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said more than 30 per cent of the NSW population is now renting, and these changes are a win-win for everyone involved.
“There are around 8,316 households that rent in the Coffs Harbour electorate, so this is a great outcome for our local community,” Mr Fraser said.
“Under these commonsense changes, renting families now have greater clarity around what minor alterations they can carry out to a property, such as installing picture hooks to hang family photos.
“Tenants will also enjoy a set of basic standards so their home is up to scratch when they move in.”
Under the changes, all rental properties must meet a set of liveable standards, including:
Adequate natural or artificial lighting and ventilation;
Adequate outlets for heating and appliances;
A structurally sound building; and,
Access to electricity or gas.
“These reforms have struck the right balance for our local residents, by increasing tenants’ rights, while also protecting a landlord’s investment,” Mr Fraser said.
Concerns around retaliatory rent increases have been addressed by restricting rent increases to once every 12 months for fixed-term leases.
The changes also strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence, allowing tenants to escape a violent partner by immediately breaking a lease without penalty.
“Victims are protected from being listed on a tenancy database by agents or landlords where a debt or property damage arose because of a violent partner,” Mr Fraser said.
NSW Fair Trading will also have new powers to investigate disputes between tenants and landlords, and issue rectification orders.
“Fair Trading received more than 2,800 complaints about residential tenancy issues in 2017-18, which shows just how crucial these forms are,” Mr Fraser said.
For more information on the NSW residential tenancy reforms package visit www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or phone 13 32 20.