NSW tenancy laws changing from March 2020

Building defects

Changes to the residential tenancy laws in NSW start on 23 March 2020, with amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (the Act) and the new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 (the new Regulation).

The changes cover the following key areas:​

  • New information to be disclosed to prospective strata tenants
  • Minimum standards to clarify ‘fit for habitation’
  • New smoke alarm obligations for landlords
  • List of alterations, additions or renovations of a ‘minor nature’
  • Damage and removing modifications
  • New mandatory set break fees for fixed term agreements
  • Strengthened information disclosure requirements
  • Disclosure requirements for new material facts
  • Remedies for tenants for breaches to information disclosure obligations
  • Water efficiency measures
  • New rectification order process
  • New standard form of agreement

The most important change for strata schemes, owners and tenants relates to the information that must be disclosed to prospective tenants. From 23 March 2020, before a tenancy agreement is signed, a landlord or agent will need to give a tenant a copy of the strata scheme’s by-laws. They will also need to inform the tenant if a strata renewal committee is currently established for the scheme (i.e. the scheme has received a proposal to undertake a collective sale or redevelopment known as a strata renewal). These changes provide greater protection for prospective strata tenants and are additional requirements to the general disclosure obligations.

A summary of the changes can be found can be found here.