A lot can change in 7 years, and it’s safe to say that what was passed in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 is no longer applicable to the almost 850,000 NSW residential rental household landscape of 2017.
Although the Act saw significant changes be introduced to the regulation of residential tenancies in NSW, the upcoming review is very much needed to ensure that:
- The right laws are in place to both manage and meet the demand for current and future developments in this vital area of real estate practice.
- Landlords, Property Managers and Tenants have residential tenancy laws that both respond to the contemporary needs of the modern market and foray the ideal equilibrium between assurance and malleability
With the RTA Draft Bill set to be released in the next month, property managers expected to continue to provide tenants with the following prior to signing a lease:
A copy of the tenancy agreement (aka the lease)
When providing tenants with a copy of the lease, it is best practice to go through the lease with them to ensure they are aware that they are signing a legally binding document that is effective immediately.
To guarantee your tenants understand the terms and conditions, we recommend asking them the following questions:
- Have you gone through the lease from end to end? Do you understand everything in there?
- Are you aware of the length of the lease that has been negotiated and are you happy to commit to this period (usually 6 or 12 months)?
- Can you confirm that you are being offered a minimum of 1 way to make rental payments that doesn’t incur paying a fee to a third party?
- Are there any additional terms that need to be negotiated and included in the lease prior to signing it?
- Have you checked that all additional terms to the lease are legal?
Two copies of the premises condition report
At the time of issue, you must communicate that both reports need to be filled in identically but that only one report needs to be returned to you within 7 days. It is important to ensure your tenants are aware they need to take the time to:
- Conduct a thorough physical inspection
- Fill the report out with as much accuracy and detail as possible to avoid issues at the completion of the tenancy.
It is your responsibility as the property manager to explain to your tenants that the condition report they submit will be used as a key piece of evidence if there is a dispute about who should pay for damages and cleaning etc.
An invitation to lodge and manage their bond through Rental Bonds Online (RBO)
As of the 30th of January 2017, all NSW property managers are obligated to provide tenants with the option to pay bond through RBO which is Fair Trading’s direct and secure online service. You will also need to provide tenants with the RBO factsheet to ensure they have all the necessary details on setting up their account and what they can use the service for.
The keys to their new home
This one is as straightforward as it sounds!
If applicable, you are also required to give tenants:
- A copy of the by-laws (if the property they are leasing is part of a strata complex)
- Necessary report if the property has been listed on the Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Register
- Compliance certificates for spas and/or swimming pools
- Notification of all other material facts relating to the property. For example, if it has been affected by zoning, or has been the scene of a crime etc.
To ensure you are compliant with current legislation and are across any changes that will be introduced, we recommend checking the REINSW website for updates.
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