The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 is now five years old. It has made a number of positive changes for tenants in New South Wales, but there are a number of important issues that are yet to be resolved. This report highlights the provisions that are working well, and ought to be retained, as well as those that require amendment to promote fairness, security and stability for tenants.
There are six key themes underpinning the TU's comments on the terms of the Act
- Housing insecurity is a feature of the Act, because landlords can end tenancies without a reason
- Landlords repairs and maintenance obligations can be difficult to enforce
- Rent and utility charges are an important part of any housing transaction, and disputes about payment should always be simple to resolve
- Regulation of residential tenancy databases should remain a high priority for Government
- The changing profile of tenants makes it critical to ensure share-housing and co-tenancy provisions are effective and appropriate
- Occupancy principles should be adapted and expanded to ensure renters who are not covered by the Act have rights
We also make some recommendations to improve a number of miscellaneous provisions in the Act.