We are getting closer to the final amendments of the Residential Tenancy Act.
Phase 1 included changes to rent increases. Phase 2 saw the majority of changes, including rental tenure security.
The last phase of these changes comes into effect on 11 August 2021, and it’s primarily concerned with protecting tenants and landlords in cases of violence and assault.
- Family violence
This new reform aims to protect those at risk or victims of family violence, allowing them to end agreements for the sake of their wellbeing.
This violence includes:
- Physical abuse
- Damage to the property
- Verbal/emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Threats or attempts to do any of the things listed above
Tenants that are victims of family violence will be able to end fix-term or periodic tenancy without financial penalties. The tenant will give the landlord two days’ notice along with evidence of the violence. In cases where the property only has one tenant, the whole tenancy will end.
Properties with multiple tenants will receive reduced rent for two weeks after the victim of family violence departs. Both tenants and landlords could be subject to fines of up to $3000 if they disclose any information about the withdrawal.
If you believe someone may be at risk or experiencing family violence, please report it to the police or get in contact with the family violence information line at 0800 456 450.
- Physical assault
While the family violence law protects tenants, the second amendment will protect landlords against violence.
If a landlord, an owner, a member of their family, or the property manager experiences an assault by the tenant, they will be able to issue a 14-day notice to terminate the tenancy. However, before doing so, the landlord must report the crime. The police must also have charged the tenant for the assault.
If you or a family member have experienced an assault by a tenant, please immediately report it to the police.
Now that most of the reforms have become a law, it’s more critical than ever that you familiarise yourself with them to avoid the consequences.
The team at Angel Property Managers are experts in these new changes. We can help you navigate through these changes and ensure that you and your property are compliant.