Residential Tenancies Bill 2009

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The Government has taken very limited industry consultation on the proposed Residential Tenancies Bill 2009 and the result weighs heavily in favour of the tenants. 

Obviously the industry is all for protecting the rights of tenants, however if proposed clauses such as the tenants ability to break a fixed term lease and tenants being able to make cosmetic changes, just as two examples, are approved there is a very real chance that some investors will move away from residential property. 

Industry bodies such as the REINSW are trying to highlight the issues, however it is up to all of us to educate as many people as we can about the potential impact of this Bill, particularly at a time when there is a lot of comment about the possible level of rent increases in 2010.

If you have the opportunity to make comment in your local media, or feel it is an issue that your local member can assist with make the effort before we are all burdened with increased disputes and frustrated landlords.

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  • Peter Ricci
    Posted January 16, 2010 at 10:23 pm 0Likes

    Hi Leanne

    In what situations is a tenant allowed to break their lease? As for cosmetic changes, their also must be pretty strict limitations?

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 7:13 pm 0Likes


    I know you mentioned the REINSW in your article but you might want to make it a little more clear of the state concerned when your referring to specific state based legislation. Despite what you Sydneysiders think, the world does not center around NSW… clearly as wel know Queensland is the focal point of the Universe.. you just have not realised it yet 🙂

  • Ricky
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:17 am 0Likes


    Agree with your sentiments around the other 17 million Australians out there that are North, South and West of the worst performing State economy in Australia. Couldn’t get out of the joint quicker.

    I think Glenn that you’ll find Victoria and Melbourne in particular is the place to be mate for a number of reasons not just for R/E reasons!

  • Leanne Pilkington
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:29 am 0Likes

    Apologies Glenn for not making it clear enough that these changes are impacting NSW. However past experience has shown that all of the State governments look at the legislative changes made in other States prior making changes to their own legislation, so I believe it is quite important that we are all aware of what is happening in this regard around the country.

  • Leanne Pilkington
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 9:05 am 0Likes

    Hi Peter,

    The draft provides the tenant with the ability to end the lease without cause by giving 14 days notice. There is the provision of a “break fee” that equates to no more than 6 weeks rent.
    As far as cosmetic changes go Section 66 provides that the landlord cannot unreasonably withhold consent to changes of a minor or cosmetic nature, without including a definition of what that actually means. Section 68 allows the tenant to apply to the CTTT to make a renovation, alteration or addition without the landlords consent. The Bill does provide make good provisions at the end of the tenancy, however as any Property Manager will tell you actually enforcing that can be difficult if there is not enough money contained within the bond.
    I can see a lot of disputes, unhappy landlords and frustrated Property Managers in NSW if these changes are passed.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 9:30 am 0Likes


    There is absolutely nothing to apologise for.. These sort of changes are or about to impact all other states and that level of the conversation is certainly relevant to everyone..

    You did however reference a particular Bill and you suggested readers comment to media or speak to their local member I thought it important to point out that part of your article is really for NSW readers only. I dont know if my local member would care too much on the subject 🙂

    From your reply to Peter it seems your enjoying similar frustrations to Queensland Agents. As of January 1st we now have to get a Sustainability Declaration off every vendor to sell their home.

    Ricky Ricky Ricky,

    You should have gone North and joined the thousand or so others who move up here from southern states every week!!!

    I must admit I liked the time I spend in Melbourne (and Sydney for that matter) but I also like the flight back…

  • Leanne Pilkington
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 9:35 am 0Likes

    Thanks Glenn

    I heard about the Sustainability Declaration, and have also heard whispers about it being discussed in NSW. Its crazy!

  • Emily Sim
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 9:57 am 0Likes


    Submissions for the Draft NSW Tenancy Bill closed on the 18th December 2009.

    Don’t worry though, given this draft has been in action since Linda Burney was the Minister for Fair Trading (or four premier’s ago) I’m not sure we will see this Bill passed any time soon and more than likely we will have a further opportunity to compile another exhaustive submission on what the NSW Tenancy legislation should look like.

    Another interesting point on this note is that currently there is no public access to the proposals the OFT have called on for the last five years from agents and industry bodies. I think this would make for interesting reading as I am sure we will find that agents and industry bodies have all suggested fairer legislation that what this current Bill presents.

  • George
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:48 am 0Likes


    Residential Tenancies Bill 2009 is a masterpiece of LEGALLY organized crime by a deeply corrupt Government.. It infringes numerous Civil / Human Rights – some of them clearly spell into that UN Human Rights Chart.. As well – discriminates between the “private” tenant – and the tenant residing/leasing/renting into a Publicly owned dwelling of any sort.

    Department of Housing – out of a purely real estate administrative body – is being transformed in a “social institution” – and tenants are becoming “institutionalized”.. with intrusions of privacy/intimate existence / private life – judged upon and administrated by public servants with a half-illiterate background (ex-plumbers, electricians or builders) and with NO proper qualifications (Social Work) to deal with the Social segment / implications..

    Yes Leanne – NOTHING has changed since the First Fleet.. And a funny Governor elected by THAT deeply corrupt NSW Government – (and that NEVER in her existence as a Governor – ever rejected a Bill – no matter of how dumb or revolting of anti-social content it was..) will happily VALIDATE IT – make it a LAW..!!

    We need some change… kind of all over / at all levels… and the Death Penalty re-introduced – particularly for fraud in public service..

  • PaulD
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 2:28 am 0Likes

    Hey George, have you taken your medication today ??

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