Senin, 30 Januari 2012

Many happy returns...

Today our most recent incarnation of the Residential Tenancies Act (the 2010 Act) is one year old. Happy birthday, brave new law...

We've had some good times, haven't we?

Like when you made sure that tenant wouldn't have to move out just because she fell a few weeks behind in the rent... because she paid what was owed and the Tribunal order ceased to have any effect?

Or when that other tenant was able to move straight into a new home after his landlord had given him 90 days to move out without a good reason... and he didn't have to give the landlord any notice himself?

How about that time when that landlord changed his mind and decided to sell the place shortly after signing the tenancy agreement... and the tenant was able to change his mind too, moving out during the fixed-term after giving 14 days notice?

Or when that tenant was able to go to the Tribunal for an order that the notice of termination was given in response to the tenant asking for repairs?

Ahh, yes. There sure have been some good times.

But you've disappointed us, too... It hasn't always been smooth sailing.

Because marginal renters still aren't protected by an appropriate law in New South Wales.

Because tenants can be given notices of termination without a good reason... and are no longer able to raise the circumstances of their case before the Tribunal.

Because tenants who pay their arrears can have their tenancy terminated anyway, thanks to a poorly drafted last minute amendment to the Act.

Because tenants thought that if they really needed to, they'd be able break a lease with the certainty of paying an agreed lease break fee... only to be told that they might still have to pay rent until the landlord finds a new tenant.

Because people who live in share-housing, but don't have their name on the lease, might not be protected by the Act at all.

Happy birthday, brave new law...

We know you're only young, but we think you've still got an awful lot of growing up to do.