PRD Northern Rivers Property Management News - February 2020
New Tenancy Laws for ‘Minor’ Alterations & Lease Breaks
From 23 March 2020, it will be easier for tenants to make a rented property feel like home by installing fixtures or making minor alterations, additions or renovations.
Tenants are currently allowed to make some changes if they have the landlord’s written consent, or if the residential tenancy agreement permits it. If the tenant’s request is of a ‘minor nature’, the landlord must not unreasonably refuse or place conditions on the consent. The tenant is responsible for paying for the fixture they install, or for any alteration, addition or renovation they make.
The new laws will specify the kinds of fixtures or alterations, additions or renovations that are minor where it would be unreasonable for the landlord to say no.
Some of these are:
· securing furniture to a non-tiled wall for safety reasons
· inserting fly screens on windows
· installing or replacing an internal window covering e.g. curtains and removable blinds
· installing window safety devices for child safety (excluding properties in a strata scheme)
· installing or replacing hooks, nails or screws for hanging picture frames and other similar items
· installing a phone line or internet connection
· planting vegetables, flowers, herbs or shrubs that don’t grow more than 2min the garden if existing vegetation doesn’t need to be removed
Tenants will still need to get the landlord’s written permission before they install a fixture or make an alteration, addition or renovation, even if it is in the above list.
Breaking a Lease
Mandatory set fees when a tenant breaks a fixed-term agreement early will apply to all new fixed-term agreements that are 3 years or less. This applies to agreements that are entered into from 23 March onwards.
The break fees are:
· 4 weeks rent if less than 25% of the lease had expired
· 3 weeks rent if 25% or more but less than 50% of the lease had expired
· 2 weeks rent if 50% or more but less than 75% of the lease had expired
· 1 week’s rent if 75% or more of the lease had expired.
Visit the NSW Fair Trading website for more information about these and other changes to the Tenancy Laws
· Oliver Street, East Lismore—renovated 4 bedroom home, $425 per week
· Highfield Road, Kyogle—modern 4 bedroom home, $410 per week
· Marwick Street, Geneva—spacious 3 bedroom brick home, $350 per week
· Campbell Crescent, Goonellabah—renovated 3 bed home, $350 per week
· Farley Street, Casino—modern 3 bedroom townhouse, $330 per week
· Kyogle Road, Kyogle—rural 4 bedroom farmhouse, $300 per week
· Groom Street, Kyogle—central 2 bedroom+sunroom house, $300 per week