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Draft tenancy laws anger agents

Agents are concerned that if the state government passes the proposed NSW residential tenancy laws, investors could be deterred from entering the property market.

According to the Real Estate Business monthly straw poll, 83.9 per cent of real estate agents believe the proposed changes to the NSW residential tenancy laws will deter investors.

Of 180 respondents, only 11.1 per cent said investors would not be affected by the impending legislation, while 5 per cent were unsure what the situation will be if the draft laws are passed.

Under the draft Residential Tenancies Bill, tenants will have greater flexibility to add fixtures or make alterations of a minor or cosmetic nature at their own expense. The draft Bill would also enable tenants to break a lease early without penalty in specified situations, such as where they accept an offer of public housing or need to move into a nursing home.

First National Coogee principal James Giltinan said while it is hard to comment on the drafted legislation, any restriction to landlord rights could prove problematic.

“It hard to know what will happen because the draft laws are subject to change,” Mr Giltinan told Real Estate Business.

“But when it comes to tenant’s being able to make minor renovations – how do you define ‘minor’?”.

Mr Giltinan added that any proposal giving tenants the right to vacate a fixed term lease will contradict the purpose of having a fixed term lease.

“What is the point of even having a lease if tenants can leave after a month?” he said.

Mr Giltinan said he hopes the government confers with the industry about the impact of the draft legislation before it is passed.

"I haven’t been consulted about [the draft legislation] yet,” he says, adding that it’s important that the real estate industry gives its views on how the draft legislation will impact investors before it becomes law

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