New reforms to protect tenants in Canberra

By Gerv Tacadena | 11 Mar 2021

Canberran tenants in share housing will now have greater protections after the new set of reforms in the tenancy laws took effect this month.

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said share housing often involves informal arrangements, making it necessary to reform laws and update protections for tenants.

"Under these reforms, there’s more certainty about your rights and responsibilities when changing how a shared tenancy is set up. It will remove headaches like terminating and remaking a tenancy agreement when your housemates change, or having some people not on the lease, making them sub-tenants of those on the lease," Rattenbury said.

Furthermore, the reforms will streamline the process of managing the bond for a share house. Doing so will enable the money to be transferred directly between tenants when arrangements change.

The changes will also cover Canberrans who live in shared accommodation under an occupancy agreement, like boarding houses, university student accommodation or crisis accommodation.

"The new laws establish minimum protections, so that occupants are protected against unreasonable evictions," Rattenbury said. "The reforms also create a new optional pathway for occupants to be able to take an occupancy dispute to the Human Rights Commission for conciliation to provide a structured dispute resolution process.”

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