New laws for residential tenancies unanimously agreed by the NSW Parliament on June 10 will deliver important protections for tenants and property investors, Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge said.

Ms Judge said the Residential Tenancies Bill 2010 is the result of a thorough review process and exhaustive consultation with landlords, tenants and representative groups.

“The passage of the Bill through the Parliament paves the way for a package of progressive reforms to take effect later this year,” Ms Judge said.

“The new Act is the biggest change to the State’s residential tenancy laws in more than 20 years.

“It delivers fairness, balance and social justice to hundreds of thousands of NSW families, whether they are tenants or residential property owners.

“The Opposition has criticised the Government for consulting with the community on a Bill it supported and voted into law.

“I make no apology for listening to individual landlords, tenants and representative groups in making a new law that will build a better future for hundreds of thousands of NSW families.

“I would like to thank the hundreds of people and groups representing all sides of the debate who have helped shape this historic piece of legislation.”

Minister Judge said that under the new laws:

  • Protections for domestic violence victims will be enhanced.
  • Tenants must be given at least one fee-free way to pay their rent.
  • Landlords will regain certainty in seeking vacant possession of their premises.
  • The termination notice for periodic tenancies will be extended to 90 days.
  • The eviction process for non-payment of rent will be sped up by up to 18 days.
  • More tenancies will be saved by making it easier to catch up on overdue rent.
  • Tenants will be supported in making reasonable requests to make minor changes to premises or to sub-lease a spare room.
  • Red tape for landlords dealing with goods left behind and rent receipts will be cut.
  • Tenants will no longer be forced to have carpets professionally steam-cleaned when  vacating premises.
  • Landlords will gain the right to show premises to prospective tenants or buyers at least twice a week.
  • It will be easier for private tenants to take up an offer of a place in a nursing home or social housing.

The Government will now develop a regulation to support the new laws which will be exhibited for public feedback, Ms Judge said.

“Before the news laws commence we will also roll out a program of information sessions for landlords and tenants,” she said.

“I am proud to see this Bill passed into law, building on other reforms I have secured for the future – including new protections for tenants if their homes are repossessed because the landlord defaulted on loan repayments.

“These are vital reforms to residential tenancy law, which almost certainly touches the lives of every adult in the State, either as a tenant or landlord.”