The planned removal of no-cause evictions from Canberran residential tenancy agreements has been “warmly welcomed” by tenants, according to the ACT government.
At the same time, the territory’s Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury has acknowledged “mixed views” from tenants, landlords and real estate agents regarding the removal of no-cause evictions, despite many agreeing that if the law did come to pass, new termination clauses would be needed to properly support landlords in managing their properties.
The survey responses stem from a community consultation period to discuss the ACT’s planned reform of four aspects of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997: ending no-cause evictions, restricting rent bidding, setting clear minimum standards for rentals, and giving greater freedom to grow food.
According to the Attorney-General, “everyone deserves a safe and secure place to live”.
“Tenants should have the right to turn rental properties from a house into a real home. Property owners should also have the ability to effectively and fairly manage their properties,” he continued.
Minister Rattenbury said that the territory government would use the responses and submissions surrounding the proposed four reforms to create “a fairer, safer rental system for all Canberrans”.
“As with any reforms in this space, we need to consider the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants,” he outlined.
“Tenants told us about the fear, expense, and uncertainty of receiving a no cause eviction notice and the disruption that it can cause to their lives. They told us that ending no cause evictions will make them feel more secure in their homes.”
With the ACT government having already committed to end no-cause evictions in the parliamentary and governing agreement, the Attorney-General said the consultation period had “provided useful feedback on the situations that new tenancy termination clauses or provisions should cover and what notice periods should apply”.
On the proposed reform to rent bidding, the government highlighted that most respondents, including landlords, agents and tenants, agreed that landlords or agents should be prevented from asking a prospective tenant to pay more than the advertised price for a rental property.
But, “views on whether tenants should be prevented from offering to pay more than the advertised price for a property were more mixed”.
There was also strong overall support for reforms that would make it easier for tenants to grow food at their rental property. More than six in 10 of the total survey responses either agreed or strongly agreed to this reform.
Community views on which minimum standards should be prioritised for implementation, including amenity, safety and security, physical accessibility, and sanitation were also sought out in the discussion period.
According to the government, minimum standards for safety and security were identified as the highest priority, followed closely by minimum standards for sanitation.
A bill for public exposure is set to be drafted and introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly later this year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.