Rabu, 04 November 2009

New draft Residential Tenancies Bill

At last, the long-awaited draft Residential Tenancies Bill has appeared.

The draft Bill is the product of the review of current New South Wales residential tenancies legislation that began in 2005 (though those with long memories will recall that our legislation first came under review way back in 1998)... as well as the efforts of the Tenants' Union, the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services, other housing advocates and numerous individual tenants to draw attention to the deficiencies in the current law.

First impressions of the draft Bill: mostly good. It would make numerous sensible improvements on the current law. Some of these improvements would be very significant: in particular, the provisions about residential tenancy databases would finally set out an effective set of rules about how a person might get listed on a database, and how they can get off the wretched thing.

There are, however, some less happy provisions: in particular, changes to restrict the discretion of the Tribunal in dealing with no-grounds terminations.

In the coming weeks, the TU will pore over the draft Bill and keep Brown Couch readers posted as to what we make of it.

The status of the draft Bill is that it is an exposure draft: that is, it is not law yet, and it has not even been introduced into Parliament. Fair Trading is seeking comments on the draft Bill until 18 December, before it goes to Parliament next year. You can make comments to Fair Trading online, but please also let us know what you think, through comments here as we discuss the draft Bill, or by dropping us a line at the TU.