If you are a landlord or a tenant of residential property, you
should be aware of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010,
assented to by NSW Parliament on 17 June 2010 and due to commence
shortly. The Act represents a major reworking of the NSW
residential tenancy legislation. Whilst most of the changes to the
1987 Act favour the tenant, some processes have been made easier
for the landlord.
Key amendments to NSW residential tenancy legislation
Rent arrears and notices
A landlord must accept payment of unpaid rent from a tenant if
the landlord has given a termination notice on the grounds of
failure to pay rent and the tenant has not yet vacated the
premises. This provision is intended to assist genuine tenants
encountering temporary financial difficulties (s34).
If a landlord wants to be entitled to recover water usage
charges for the premises from a tenant, the landlord must ensure
that the premises contain water efficiency measures prescribed by
the regulations (s39).
Landlord selling residential property
A landlord must give the tenant written notice of the
landlord's intention to sell the premises at least 14 days
before the premises are first made available for inspection to
prospective purchasers. Previously, there was no such obligation
Except in the case of a lease which is still on a fixed term
residential tenancy agreement, a landlord may terminate a
residential tenancy agreement by giving not less than 30 days'
notice on the grounds that the landlord has entered into a contract
to sell the property requiring the landlord to give the purchaser
vacant possession (s86).
The notice period for the landlord to terminate a periodic
tenancy has been increased by 60 days to 90 days (s85).
A tenant may give a termination notice for a fixed term
agreement on any of the following grounds:
The tenant has been offered and has accepted accommodation in
social housing premises
The tenant has accepted a place in an aged care facility
The landlord has notified the tenant of the landlord's
intention to sell the premises and did not disclose the proposed
sale before entering into the residential tenancy agreement
A co-tenant or occupancy or former co-tenant or occupancy is
prohibited by a final AVO from having access to the premises
Benefits for the landlord
Able to service eviction notices directly to the tenant's
May apply to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for a
hearing date at the same time as serving the eviction notice
No longer required to advertise in relation to unclaimed "
goods or move and store unclaimed goods left by a tenant in
If you are a landlord, you need to be aware of the provisions of
the new legislation, particularly in relation to your obligations
under a new residential tenancy agreement, or if you intend to sell
the property whilst there is a residential tenancy agreement in
place. For further information, please contact Mary Digiglio.
A copy of the full text of the Residential Tenancies Act
2010 can be downloaded from the website of NSW Parliament.
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The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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