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Changes to the Residential Tenancy Laws in Sydney

Changes to the Residential Tenancy Laws in Sydney
  • Hannah
  • Aug 18 2020
The rental segment of the NSW residential property market is booming with each passing year. More than 800,000 households opt for rental properties in NSW, and Sydney is the most preferred choices for most people who want to improve their living standard. The demand for affordable yet quality leased apartments and other residential properties that are expected to grow further in the coming years.

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord in Sydney, everyone needs residential tenancy laws that can ease the relationship between tenants and landlords throughout the process. As a tenant, you need to know everything about the laws so that you can easily move-out without rental disputes.

According to the tenancy agreement, you need to make sure that the rental property you are returning at the end of the lease is in pristine condition. If you don’t clean the premises thoroughly, there is a good chance that you could lose a part of bond money.

Therefore, it is always good to hire an experienced company for a professional end of lease cleaning in Sydney. With their standard cleaning checklist and expertise, you can pass your final inspection and easily retrieve your bond money.

However, most tenants don’t know much about the changes in the NSW residential tenancy laws. If you want to know everything about the amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and the new Residential Tenancies Regulations 2019, then keep on reading this article.

A Complete Guide: NSW Residential Tenancies ACT 2010

The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 introduced some major amendments to the residential tenancy regulations. The modernised laws were commenced on 23rd March 2020 to give rights to tenants and impose obligations on managing agents and landlords. The changes promise to deliver greater protection for landlords and tenants in Sydney and other regional cities in NSW.

One of the key benefits of new residential tenancy law is that it will reduce rental disputes over property maintenance and repairs. It will also boost protection and certainty for tenants and bring transparency between two parties (landlords and tenants). With the right laws, the state will be in a great position to extend and manage future growth in this market.

Key Amendments to Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW)

It is a must for tenants and landlords to fetch the latest information on new residential tenancy laws in Sydney. The following points will help you know everything about the key changes in NSW Residential Tenancies ACT 2010 that started on 23rd March 2020.

1. Property Damage and Removing Changes

According to the tenancy law, tenants are responsible for damages they cause to the property during the lease period. As a tenant, make sure you return the property in the same condition as you received at the start of the lease, except fair wear and tear.

Make sure you remove any renovations, alterations and fix the damages before the final inspection. You as a tenant has a right to choose whether to get rid of any fixtures they have installed or not. However, you can’t remove any fixtures installed by your landlord.

In the new residential tenancy law, landlords are allowed to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to take compensation from the tenant for the costs if the property is in damaging condition.

2. New Laws for Tenants

As per new laws, tenants can make alterations or renovations, and install fixtures to the rental property if they have the written consent by landlords. If the request for fixture installations or renovation is ‘minor’, then the property manager must not hold back consent. Make sure the tenant pay for the fixtures they install and are also allowed to remove them at the end of the tenancy.

The new Regulation includes the types of fixtures, additions and renovations that are considered minor:

  • Installing fly screen on windows
  • Replacing or installing window coverings such as blinds and curtains
  • Protecting furniture to non-tiled walls
  • Installing safety gates inside the premises if you have small kids
  • Replacing or installing home decor items
  • Planting flowers and vegetables, and much more.

  • 3. New Smoke Alarm Obligation

    Landlords are obliged to install smoke alarms in the rental property. Also, make sure they are in working condition. Otherwise, they need to pay the penalty. He must repair or replace hardwired or battery-operated smoke alarms if it’s not working correctly.

    The provisions are also enabling landlords to access the property without the consent that has been extended to specifically include assessing the requirement for repair or replace of a smoke alarm if a notice regarding this has been given to the tenant.

    4. 7 Minimum Standards to Clarify ‘fit for habitation’

    Landlords need to offer the rented property in a clean state and ‘fit for habitation’ condition. The amendments introduce the following seven minimum standards to ensure the property is fit to live in:

  • Make sure the property is structurally sound
  • It should have proper natural or artificial lighting in all rooms, except garages and storage room.
  • Good Ventilation is must
  • Supply of electricity and gas
  • It should have adequate drainage and plumbing
  • Be sure the property has a water connection that can supply both cold and hot water for washing, cleaning and drinking.
  • Proper bathroom facilities

  • As a tenant, make sure you maintain these things throughout your tenancy to get your bond back at the end of your lease.

    5. Laws for Prospective Strata Tenants

    Before a lease agreement is signed, landlords have to give a copy of the strata scheme’s by-laws to their tenants. These amendments provide greater protection for potential strata tenants.

    6. Provisions for tenants if they breach the lease agreement

    A tenant can end their tenancy agreement by giving just 14 days notice to the landlord. In case, the landlord fails to comply with the information disclosure obligations, and a tenant can easily get out of the lease.

    You can also apply to the Tribunal if planning to end your lease. The Tribunal has the right to order the landlord to compensate you for any cost incurred as a result of ending the lease agreement.


    These are some new changes in NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010. You can read new laws and make the most of our decisions. If you are moving out, make sure you hire the most trained end of lease cleaners in Sydney and get your bond back with ease.