Changes introduced by the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020 (No 1) came into effect in mid-2020.

The reforms include measures to provide:

  • Lower upfront costs for tenants
    Tenants cannot be required to pay more than two weeks’ rent in advance.
  • Improved standards in rental homes
    Repairs to air conditioning are now classed as urgent.
    Minimum standards for rental properties can be set by the Government.
  • More rights for tenants when their rental home is being sold
    Rights of landlords to access the property for inspections are subject to stricter limits.
    Tenants have a new right to terminate their lease early in some circumstances where the sale process is too onerous.
  • Easier transitions to social housing or aged care
    Tenants can terminate their leases at short notice and without paying compensation if they have accepted a place in social housing or aged care.
  • New protections around evictions
    Tenants must be given at least 8 weeks’ notice before they can be required to move out because the landlord (or someone close to them) wants to move in.
  • Better protections for landlords against illegal use of rental properties
    Landlords will benefit from a more streamlined process to terminate a lease where a rental property has been used illegally. Protections for tenants will ensure that they are not unreasonably evicted on this ground.

A Fact Sheet on the changes is available here (DOC) (PDF).