Review of the Residential Tenancy Act

As some of you may or may not be aware, the residential tenancy act is being reviewed and the general public is being asked to make submissions to be considered.  This can be done via the government website Review of the Residential Tenancy Act.

Why is this important?  If you don’t have your say, and things get changed in a way you don’t want them to, you don’t have a right to complain!  So everyone needs to get out there, have a think about what you feel is fair, reasonable and should be a part of the legislation, and put a submission in!

Some of the key points they are looking at changing are;

  • Security of tenure – the option of 5 year + leases and protection for tenants.
  • Balancing bargaining power between the parties (as the various lobbying parties such as the Tenants Union feel that landlords have too much power)
  • Clarification on rights and responsibilities for both Tenants and Landlords
  • Making it an offence to include a term in a tenancy agreement that is prohibited under the blacklist (which is to be created)
  • Clarifying the extent to which a landlord can prohibit a tenant from having a pet (which includes making a ‘no pets’ clause unreasonable and unenforceable.
  • Providing compensation to tenants for open for inspections when showing prospective buyers through if the property is for sale.
  • Clarifying subleasing and what can be charged for new tenancies. (this will likely cover Air B n B issues.)
  • Greater clarity about lease break fees and the potential to cap a lease break fee and rental compensation to a landlord at 2 weeks only.
  • Limiting rent increases to once per year instead of the option for every 6 months.
  • Clarifying ‘reasonably clean’ to reduce disputes.
  • Termination and security of tenure – they’re thinking of removing the 120 day notice to vacate for no reason.

Based on my own experience as a tenant, landlord and licenced estate agent, I will be submitting a proposal to try and protect our landlords from changes that I think are unfair and in the same way, I’ll be raising issues for clarification such as ‘reasonably clean’ and the minimum requirements for a property to be leased clearly defined so as a property manager, I can show those very small percentage of owners who think it’s okay to have holes in walls / mould and so on and lease the property that it clearly is not.

If you don’t have the time to create your own submission, let me know what you would like included so I can add it to my paper!

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