Tenants left in the dark when it comes to by-laws

Tenants left in the dark when it comes to by-laws

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Many tenants are unaware of their buildings by-laws because they have never seen them, said one real estate writer.

According to Jimmy Thomson of Flat Chat, a columnist and writer in the Domain section of the Sydney Morning Herald  for the past six years landlords are not aware of laws because they are not being educated by their landlords and agents.

“One of the recurring themes in both this column and the Flat Chat Forum is that tenants often don’t know that there are by-laws they’re supposed to observe, mainly because they’ve never seen them,” he wrote.

“Another frequent complaint is that Owners Corporations don’t know who they’re dealing with when there are problems with rentals.

“However strata law has requirements covering both issues – and non-compliance carries fines.”

Under NSW law within seven-days of signing the lease a landlords must provide tenants with a copy of the buildings by-laws.

“This also applies to subleases and failure to do so could cost you a $110 fine,” he continued.

“Smart agents provide a copy of the by-laws with their leases. Does yours?  Remember, you’ll pay the fine, not them.

“Owners are also obliged to tell the Owners Corporation when they lease or sub-lease their units, to whom they’ve been leased and who the agent is within 14 days of the lease commencing.  Failure to do that could cost $550.

“These fines are hardly crippling but they’d certainly get a slack landlord’s attention.  And they could be a way of exposing and discouraging rogue short-term rentals.”

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