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New High Court tenancy ruling ‘illogical’, ‘no good’, says REINSW

24 April 2018 Sasha Karen
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A new High Court ruling has just made it harder for landlords and tenants to solve tenancy disputes in New South Wales, a move that is no good for any one in the value chain, according to the president of the REINSW.

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) is now powerless in any mediation between landlords and tenants when dealing with one or more parties based interstate, the High Court has ruled, and instead will require the matter to go to court.

“It’s stupid. Its not good for anybody, its not good for the tenant, its not good for the landlord and its not good for the real estate agent, because… our court systems are already overburdened, so I dont understand the logic in feeding these matters through to court as well,” Real Estate Institute of NSW president Leanne Pilkington told Smart Property Investment.

“It doesnt make any sense when there is a purpose-built tribunal that can handle them.”

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For situations when the property, landlord and tenant are all based in NSW, NCAT is still able to be involved, but for landlords that live interstate, NCAT is just not an option.

Normally, if you have a tenancy issue, you go to NCAT, you go to tribunal, and its a purpose-built tribunal for tenancy issues, and so its a fairly simpl process, and its fairly quick.

But now, if you have got a property in NSW, but one of the parties is not, so if you as a landlord live in Queensland or Victoria or wherever, NCAT is not able to hear your matter. Its got to go to court.

The REINSW and Ms Pilkington lobbied for an amendment to be added to NSW legislation that allows for tribunals to double as a court for specific cases, which then allows for interstate parties to easily be involved.

“Its just one simple line in the legislation in Queensland that allows them to hear the tenancy issues no matter where the parties are, and for whatever reason in NSW, they wont do that. It makes no sense,” Ms Pilkington said.

“I cant give you any logic around it. I wish I could.”

“The NSW government must act swiftly and effectively and make an amendment to the legislation through Parliament as quickly as possible,” said REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin in a statement.

New High Court tenancy ruling ‘illogical’, ‘no good’, says REINSW
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