Posted Date: 1/25/2011
The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 was passed by Parliament in 2010 and the new laws will commence on 31 January 2011 which is just around the corner. Until then, the existing laws will continue to apply.
The new Act follows a comprehensive review of the existing tenancy laws and includes more than 100 reforms. Some of the changes include:
A Landlord has new disclosure requirement if the property is for sale, including 14 days notice to the tenant before the first inspection. Two inspections each week are allowed and the tenant can ask for a reduction in the rent for compensation for the inconvenience.
A one week holding fee may be payable by the tenant, and once this is accepted the Landlord is committed to proceed.
Lease preparation fees are no longer payable by the tenant.
Rental bond is capped at 4 weeks rent including furnished premises.
There is now protection for domestic violence victims including the right to change locks
Premises must be made water efficient if the tenant is to pay for water usage.
There are new grounds for immediate termination by the Landlord for serious criminal activities such as the manufacture and cultivation of illegal substances on the premises.
Alterations by tenants still require Landlords approval which cannot be unreasonably withheld for minor changes
Landlords can now ask information about co-lessee’s or sub lessee’s for part of the premises, but cannot unreasonably withhold consent.
A clause to require professional carpet cleaning at the end of the lease is prohibited unless pets are allowed.
30 days termination notice is now required instead of 14 at the end of a fixed term lease.
90 days termination notice is now required after a fixed term lease has expired.
After a tenant has moved out, rubbish and perishables left behind can be disposed of immediately, furniture and clothing must be kept for 14 days, personal effects such as bank statements and photos must be kept for 90 days.
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