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Sweeping reform of tenant rights

7 Nov 2018

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 Hawkesbury Dominic Perrottet said with more than 30 per cent of the NSW population now renting these changes were a win-win for everyone involved.

“Under these common sense 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,” Mr Perrottet said.

“There are around 5,545 households that rent in Hawkesbury, so this is a great outcome for our local community.”

“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 by increasing tenant’s rights while also protecting a landlord’s investment,” Mr Perrottet 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 Perrottet 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 Perrottet said.

For more information on the NSW residential tenancy reforms package visit or phone 13 32 20.

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