Senin, 08 Februari 2010

Australian Rules

AFL legend and inaugural coach of the Greater Western Sydney team, Kevin Sheedy, will next week move to Sydney and, at least for the time being, rent a house. He and Mrs Sheedy will be tenants.

(Kevin Sheedy, prospective tenant.)

I'm sure I speak for all Brown Couch readers – even those who do not follow any of the teams with which Sheedy has been associated (go Hawks!) – when I wish him all good fortune on entering the New South Wales rental market, and offer these words of advice.

Now, Sheedy, you'll find things are done here a little differently to Victoria. You're probably used to landlords giving 'without grounds' termination notices of 120 days; here, it's just 60 days (and if the draft Residential Tenancies Bill goes through as is, it will go up to 90 days). So keep your guard up.

If we're talking about a termination notice at the end of the fixed term of your tenancy, you'd be used to expecting 90 days notice if the fixed term is six months or more, and 60 days' notice if the fixed term is less than that. Here, it's just 14 days (again, the draft Bill would put it up, to 30 days).

And if the termination notice is because the landlord is selling the place, you'd be used to 60 days' notice; here, you'll get just 30 days.

Mind you, if you're the one giving a termination notice, you don't need to give 28 days' notice like you're used to; here it's 21 days.

Now, about rent increases: you'd be used to being assured that you'll get no more than one rent increase in a six month period. No limits like that up here, Sheedy.

You'll be wondering about the landlord's right to inspect the premises. You'll be used to landlords being allowed one inspection every six months, and none in the first three months of your tenancy; here it can be up to four in 12 months (and they could all be in the first month, if the landlord wanted). It's not all bad news, though; you might be used to expecting just 24 hours' notice of an inspection; here you're entitled to seven days' notice.

And what you call a security deposit we call a bond (and you'll find some agents say 'deposit' to mean 'reservation fee'. Which will become a 'holding fee', if and when the draft Bill is passed.)

Any questions? 'Why aren't the rules the same all over Australia?' Good question, Sheedy, very good question.