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How will the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act affect landlords and tenants?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

 The Bill amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act SA was passed in May 2013 and it is expected to come into operation early 2014. But what impact will the more than 100 changes mean to Landlords who have their properties managed by a specialist Property Management Company?


The short answer is: if we are managing your property, nothing much is changing for you. Most of the changes in the act relate to notice periods that have to be given to tenants prior to inspections, repairs and when they can be carried out and notice periods for break of lease and intention to sell the property. It also requires Landlords to keep records of all receipts under the agreement. This includes bonds, rents and other receipts such as water payments. While we will have to adjust to new notice periods, the notification of tenants prior to inspections and repairs being carried out is already part of our normal management practice and will not affect our Landlords.

We will also be required to provide a written guide to tenants before they enter into an agreement.
Some changes will affect future tenancies, with owners required to provide manufacturer’s instructions or some form of operating instruction for all appliances in the property and this can be quite difficult, especially for furnished properties or older appliances where no original instructions can be found.

Our initial feeling is that there is more work involved from our perspective, particularly in relation to manufacturers’ manuals, the tightening up of lease renewals and the notification that needs to be given.

Other changes to the legislation are more about tightening up what are already best practice procedures carried out by Adelaide Residential Rentals. These include record keeping , termination procedures , discrimination practices , handling abandoned property , rights of entry etc. 

There were some changes that the Property Management industry was hoping to have introduced, such as a pet bond and shorter times for sending breach notices that were not included in this review. As a whole, the changes skew lightly in favour of tenants. 

Overall the new legislation means that private landlords are going to need to be very aware of their obligations or potentially face some very stiff penalties.

I
f you would like to see all the amendments in detail you can click on the link below:
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/sa/bill/rtab2012432/

And if you have any questions or concerns, you can email us here


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