Friday, May 04, 2012

Changes ahead for the Residential Tenancies Act SA

Yesterday, the government released new proposed changes to be made to the Residential tenancies Act which would benefit both landlords and tenants.
"The Residential Tenancies Act has not been significantly amended or reviewed since 1995, we're putting out a discussion paper for a six-week consultation suggesting a number of changes which should improve the situation for landlords, the tenants and for anyone who is trying to work their way through the tribunal with a dispute" (Minister John Rau)
Some of the changes are detailed below.
Key measures will allow landlords to:
·                Maintain their anonymity when they use an agent to manage their property
·                Ask for additional rent in advance for high end properties
·                More easily evict tenants who are repeatedly arrears in rent.

For tenants, the proposed changes will:
·                Provide better regulation of entry and inspection times.
·                Prevent agents from using application forms to create binding tenancy agreements
·                Require landlords to disclose their intention to sell a rented premises and negotiate open inspection times.

Mr Rau said the tribunal’s operation would be improved by:
·                Expanding the mediation provisions.
·                Raising the Tribunal's jurisdictional limit from $10,000 to $40,000.
·                Encouraging it to determine small claims without parties needing to attend a hearing (although all parties would have a right to be heard).
Streamlining the notice periods for the service of forms and the lodging of certain applications.
The changes to the Act are much welcomed and are sure to have already caused a stir for many landlords, tenants and property managers. The full discussion paper can be found at

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