New Laws for Tenants; Old Residentialtenancy Act inNSW Given Amajor Overhaul

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Meir

NORTHERN RIVERS tenants and landlords are being encouraged to find out about new rental laws enacted by the State Government.

The Residential Tenancies Act, which began last week, is the biggest overhaul of NSW residential tenancies law in more than 20 years.

Deidre Dowsett, from the Northern Rivers Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, part of the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre in Lismore, said the new Act made welcome changes to the rights of tenants.

aLaw reform in this area has been years in the making,a she said.

aThe changes that have come into effect were made after consultation with the NSW Tenants' Union, which includes the NRTAAS.a

The major changes to tenants' rights include the ability of residents in share-house situations and those affected by domestic violence to end a tenancy agreement.

The notice periods that must be given to renters before tenancy agreements can be ended have also been increased.

The Act also regulates the use of tenant databases for the first time.

The new rules regarding databases, which are sometimes used by real estate agents to check a tenant's renting record, will restrict the circumstances in which a tenant can be listed and will give tenants the right to have information about them amended where the entry is inaccurate, or removed where it is out of date. …


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