In 2023, the Malinauskas Government proposed significant amendments to South Australia’s Residential Tenancies Legislation. While the exact commencement date remains unconfirmed, our team is closely monitoring updates and preparing for a seamless integration of these changes into our property management protocols.

Here’s a summary of the proposed fundamental changes:

Ending Tenancies

Notice Period: At the end of a fixed term (Section 83A), a lease termination under a ‘prescribed ground’ now requires a 60-day notice (increased from 28 days).

Prescribed Grounds: The list of reasons for termination includes scenarios like property sale, landlord’s move-in, significant renovations, intentional damage, safety threats, and more.

Supporting Evidence and Compensation

Evidence for Termination: Notice of termination must be accompanied by approved written evidence (Section 91).

Compensation: Landlords are entitled to ‘break lease’ costs when termination results from a tenancy breach (Section 84A).

Tribunal Orders and Notices

Retaliatory Behavior: SACAT may declare termination notices as ineffective if motivated by retaliation (Section 90A).

Successive Breaches: If a landlord fails to address subsequent breaches, the tenant can terminate with a 7-day notice (Section 85AA).

Rent, Inspections, and Pets

Rent Increases: Rent can’t be increased by mutual agreement within the first 12 months of a tenancy (Section 55).

Manner of Rent Payment: Landlords must provide a convenient rent payment method, with at least one electronic option without third-party fees (Section 56A).

Inspections: Limited to 4 per year with 7-28 days notice (Section 72).

Keeping Pets: Tenants may seek approval to keep pets; landlords must not unreasonably withhold consent (Sections 66C-66G).

Bonds and Minimum Standards

Lodging Bonds: Tenants may lodge bonds online for instant processing.

Minimum Housing Standards: Properties must be in good repair and fit for habitation at the beginning of the tenancy (Section 67A).

Energy Efficiency and Utilities

Energy Efficiency: Landlords must comply with energy and water efficiency standards (Section 68A).

Water Charges: Landlords will become responsible for the quarterly supply charges unless agreed otherwise (Section 73).

Domestic Abuse and Drug-Related Conduct

Domestic Abuse: Tenants can terminate their tenancy with evidence of domestic abuse (Section 85D).

Change of Locks: Tenants can alter locks with evidence of domestic abuse (Sections 66A-66B).

Drug-Related Conduct: Landlords must test and remediate premises if drug-related conduct is known (Section 67B).

Disclosure and Tenant Information

Information Provision: Landlords must provide prescribed information to prospective tenants and refrain from making false statements (Section 47C).

False Information: Providing incorrect information by prospective tenants is now a reason for termination (Section 47B).

Other Items;

Occupation of Adjacent Buildings: Studios or ‘granny flats’ are now included under Residential Tenancy definitions (Section 3).

Death of Sole Tenant: The Tenancy agreement terminates 30 days after the sole tenant’s death (Section 79B).

Abandoned Property: The timeframe for storing personal documents from an abandoned property will be reduced from 28 days to 7 days (Sections 97B-97C).

Internal Review: Reviews of tribunal orders will only be heard if payment has occurred (Section 114A).

Penalties and Offences

Review of Penalties: A review of penalties for non-compliance is underway to ensure they act as sufficient deterrents (Pending).

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