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SA’s new tenancy laws become official

By Juliet Helmke
01 December 2023 | 11 minute read
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The most significant reforms to South Australia’s residential tenancy laws in decades have passed Parliament and are set to come into force.

In setting out to overhaul its rental laws, the state has repeatedly said that the changes brought about this year would be the biggest adjustment since the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Act in 1995.

Most significantly, the bill serves to:

  • Introduce prescribed grounds to terminate or not renew a tenancy.
  • Extend the notice period to end a tenancy.
  • Allow tenants to have pets in rental homes with reasonable conditions.
  • Protect tenant data and information.
  • Ensure rental properties comply with minimum housing standards.
  • Provide additional support for victims of domestic violence.

Under these reforms, landlords will now only be able to end a periodic tenancy or to not renew a fixed term lease for a prescribed reason – this could involve a breach by the tenant, or when a property owner wants to sell, renovate or occupy the property.

The government also determined that the state’s tenants require more time to secure a property in the situation where they have received a notice to leave, with landlords now required to provide 60 days notice, increased from the previous 28 days.

And the state has moved to eradicate blanket pet bans, stating that tenants should be allowed to keep pets in rental properties in South Australia with reasonable conditions to be set by their landlord, such as keeping the animal outside or having the carpets cleaned at the end of the tenancy.

These adjustments have taken a year to wind their way through the consultation phase, eventually passing Parliament on 29 November.

In announcing the broad review of the state’s rental laws last November, South Australia’s Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs, Andrea Michaels, said it was time for the laws to change to support the modern needs of Australian households.

“Now is the right time to look at how the rental property market has evolved, what people expect and how we can make our laws modern and fair for both tenants and landlords,” she said.

“As Australia continues to face a widespread rental crisis with lack of stock and affordability issues, it’s been one of my priorities to ensure we have contemporary, effective residential tenancies laws in this state,” she stated.

SA’s new tenancy laws become official
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Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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