NEWS THAT MATTERS

Fairer rental rules for renters and owners

Local State MP David Mehan has announced that a NSW Labor Government will deliver fairer rental rules for renters on the Central Coast by providing more certainty as well as reducing the upfront moving costs for renters.

15 November 2022

 

A NSW Labor Government will allow renters to directly transfer bonds from one property to another.

 

These changes will also provide greater clarity on the circumstances in which a lease can end.

 

Portable bonds

 

A NSW Labor Government will streamline the rental bond process to allow renters to directly transfer bonds from one property to another, while ensuring owners still have access to funds they may need.

 

Currently, many renters must find thousands of dollars for a bond for a new property before their existing bond has been refunded.

 

This leaves renters out of pocket up to several thousand dollars, for up to several weeks. It places many renters in financial stress and forces some to take out personal loans.

 

The NSW Tenants Union estimates the basic costs of moving home is around $4,000, without taking into account renters being out of pocket for weeks while they wait for their bond to be refunded.

 

Yet recent data shows that one in three people would need to go into debt to cover an unexpected $600 payment, and one in 10 simply wouldn't be able to cover it.

 

The NSW Rental Bond Board will still hold bonds on trust. But it will allow those bonds to be held on trust for the new property, while also ensuring the board can collect against it on behalf of owners for outstanding debt accrued by renters for property damage.

 

As a result, no owners will be left out of pocket from these changes.

 

The government has previously tried and failed to implement similar provisions. Despite legislation introduced in 2018, many renters still don’t have access to portable bonds, at a time of record rent increases and severe cost of living pressures.

 

Reasonable grounds for ending a lease

 

Labor will clearly outline the grounds on which a lease may be terminated and in effect bring an end to no-ground evictions.

 

A NSW Labor Government will work closely with stakeholder and advocacy groups to develop a list of reasonable grounds for an owner to end a tenancy, including minimum notice to vacate a property.

 

Owners will of course retain common sense rights to evict those who are breaking the law, damaging property or not paying rent.

 

Reasonable grounds for eviction are already in place in Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT – and these changes would modernise New South Wales’ rental laws.

 

Renting in New South Wales

 

Median rent in the state has increase almost ten per cent between 2016 and 2021 – from $386 to $420.  There are over 8,000 renters in The Entrance electorate who pay are paying a median rent of $546.

 

Over 35 per cent of tenanted households in New South Wales were in rental stress. (They had rent payments greater than 30 per cent of household income).

 

State MP David Mehan for The Entrance says this is a sensible cost of living measure to help ease the pressure on the over 30 per cent of people in New South Wales currently renting.

 

“Anyone who rents knows just how anxious and challenging a process it can be to find a place to rent, never mind the significant costs associated with moving,” David Mehan said.

 

“In fact, moving house is one of life’s most stressful events.

 

“Labor’s changes will give renters and owners more certainty, allowing renters to build a home while also protecting owners.

 

“Introducing reasons for eviction will update and modernise New South Wales’ rental laws and bring us in line with most other states.”

 

Sidone Shaw, Manager, Central Coast Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service believes the portable bonds are a good move.

 

“Good announcements. Central Coast Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Services believes the removal of no grounds notices of termination will rebalance the relationship between landlords and tenants. It is long overdue.

 

It will remove the uncertainty faced by tenants when they receive a termination notice and do not know why,” Ms Shaw said.

“The current bond system pushes people into dodgy loan practices.  The portable bond proposal will not disrupt protection afforded to landlords and tenants from the rental bond board.”

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