Improving quality of life for ACT renters

Released 03/10/2019

Renters will soon have access to a higher quality of life with significant changes to standard tenancy agreements commencing from November 1 this year.

The implementation of these changes will allow renters to make their house feel more like a home by giving people more rights to choose how they live in their rental property.

Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said the changes echo similar reforms in other jurisdictions and follow extensive industry and community consultation.

"These landmark reforms will provide better outcomes for renters whilst still respecting the rights of landlords," Minister Ramsay said.

"As more and more people choose to rent it's important that they have the appropriate safeguards to feel established and comfortable in their home.

"We know that by implementing these changes that quality of life will drastically improve for those in the rental market."

Break lease fees will be limited to six weeks total rent to be paid by the tenant if the lease is terminated within six months of the original lease agreement. Similarly, this fee is reduced to four weeks should the tenant discontinue the lease after a period of six months.

In addition, renters will not be subjected to excessive increases in rent should a new lease be agreed to by both parties at the termination of a previous lease - subject to tribunal hearings, landlords will not be able to increase rent beyond CPI plus 10 per cent.

Pets will no longer be excluded from rental agreements in properties as part of a lease agreement and landlords will have to apply to the ACAT to refuse tenants from having a pet at their property.

Furthermore, tenants will also be able to make minor modifications to their homes provided those modifications are able to be restored to their original condition before the termination of a lease agreement.

These changes are part of a package of reforms to the ACT's rental system and are designed to improve the living standards of tenants, whilst balancing the genuine rights of landlords.

Last week, the Attorney-General introduced a number of additional changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to protect the Territory's most vulnerable renters by allowing them more flexibility in the rental market including better protections for those in family violence situations.

Details of those changes can be found here.

For fact sheets about the November 1 changes visit Justice and Community Safety website

- Statement ends -

Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Media Releases

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