The Northern Territory has indicated that it will be holding back planned changes to its Residential Tenancies Act despite previously receiving parliamentary approval.
The bill will not commence while the Northern Territory focuses on its response to COVID-19, it was reported.
According to the territory’s Attorney-General Natasha Fyles, the Residential Tenancies Act 2019 is one of the pieces of legislation that will require further amendment to accommodate proposed initiatives from the Commonwealth.
The Residential Tenancies Act outlines the legislative rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.
In line with national cabinet discussions, the Northern Territory has indicated that its government is working on further legislative amendments that will enable the creation of longer negotiation periods between tenants and landlords and create fairer terms for new leases where hardship due to COVID-19 is demonstrated.
Ms Fyles said, “It makes sense to postpone the start of a bill that will require more change to protect and provide certainty for Territorians.”
“Our decision to defer the commencement of Residential Tenancies Act 2019 allows us to accommodate the COVID-19 public health emergency provisions in these unprecedented times, all while ensuring our local legislation needs are met,” she continued.
“We have said we will do whatever we can to ensure we save lives, save jobs and help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Territorians.”