Changes to residential tenancies legislation – CBS News

Commencing 3 July 2017

The changes aim to clarify or provide solutions to several administrative issues that have been raised by industry.  It is important that all parties to a residential tenancy understand their rights and obligations.

Right to entry – section 72

In most cases, the landlord must provide a minimum period of notice to the tenant to attend the premises. However, there may be circumstances where the tenant would like the landlord to attend the premises more quickly to deal with certain matters.

The changes now allow the landlord to attend the premises at the tenant’s request to:

  • Carry out non-urgent repairs and maintenance (including garden maintenance) without the landlord needing to give the required notice.
  • Show the property to prospective tenants as soon as possible to minimise break lease fees, if the tenant wants to terminate the lease early (at least 28 days earlier).

Other than these circumstances, the existing notice periods and requirements for showing prospective tenants through the property still apply.

Landlords cannot initiate or entice any request. The request must be the tenant’s own choice.

Termination by tenant if residential premises for salesection 85A

If the landlord enters into a contract for sale of the property within two months after the tenancy commences and the landlord did not inform the tenant (before entering into the tenancy) of their intention to sell then the tenant has the right to terminate the lease.

If the landlord:

  • Gives the tenant written notice of the contract for sale of the property, then the tenant must exercise their right to terminate within two months of receiving this notice.
  • Does not give written notice to the tenant, then the tenant may terminate the lease at any time.

This amendment only applies to new tenancy agreements entered into on or after 3 July 2017.

Abandoned property – other than personal documents  – section 97B

Presently, once a landlord has taken possession of the premises, they must wait two business days before removing, destroying or disposing of abandoned property. The landlord must allow the tenant reasonable access to the property during this time to reclaim abandoned items.

New Form 2

The Form 2 ‘Notice by landlord to remedy breach of agreement – Notice of termination’ has been updated to reflect information about delivery by ordinary post and to clarify existing requirements to complete and serve the notice on the tenant.

The new Form 2 is available from the sa.gov website.

There will be a transition period for using the new Form 2. Old versions can still be used up until the end of September 2017. However, from 3 July 2017 landlords/agents are encouraged to complete the new Form 2.

For more information

Residential Tenancies (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2016