Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Former Minister for Finance; Commerce; Small Business

    New laws to tackle bad behaviour by tenants

    2/12/2011 12:00 AM
    • Further protections for tenants and greater clarity for landlords
    • More power to terminate leases of disruptive tenants in public housing

    New laws strengthening the rights of tenants and helping to tackle anti-social behaviour by public housing tenants will soon come into effect after yesterday’s passing of legislation in State Parliament.

    Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien said the overhaul of the Residential Tenancies Act would also enable the State Government to deal more quickly and effectively with troublesome tenants in public housing.

    “The Department of Housing will be able to apply to the Magistrates Court to terminate a tenancy in cases where the tenant is engaging in ongoing disruptive behaviour or is using the premises for illegal purposes,” Mr O’Brien said.

    “The new laws will also require bond money to only be lodged with the Bond Administrator, providing greater security and transparency for tenants and reducing the incidence of landlords inadvertently depositing a tenant’s bond into their own bank account.  Other new measures include the introduction of plain language lease agreements and making property condition reports compulsory at the beginning and end of a tenancy. 

    “The quality of information available on tenancy databases will be improved and seek to ensure that tenants are not unfairly excluded from the market through out-of-date or inaccurate information.  The result will be fairer regulations for both tenants and landlords.

    “The changes result from valuable input from key stakeholders during the consultation period and come into effect when new regulations are drafted and approved.”
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