Protected tenancies: history and proposals for reform

Policy Australia New South Wales
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In November 2012 the Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts released an issues paper, Making NSW Number 1 Again: Reducing Regulatory Burden (the "2012 Issues Paper"). That paper proposes to repeal six pieces of legislation in the portfolio of Fair Trading, including the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1948 No.25 (the LTA Act). The closing date for submissions to NSW Fair Trading was 1 February 2013.

The LTA Act provides greater security of tenure to tenants who live in "prescribed premises," sometimes colloquially referred to as 'controlled premises' or 'rent control.' There are restricted grounds for eviction and rent increases have to be agreed upon or the landlord has to go to the Fair Rents Board. The tenants covered by the LTA Act are often referred to as 'protected tenants.' However, strictly speaking the LTA Act does not apply to a person but rather to property, described as "prescribed premises."

Protected tenancies are specifically excluded from the Residential Tenancies Act 20106 which means that the Consumer Trader and Tenancies Tribunal (CTTT) cannot make orders in relation to such tenancies.

This e-brief provides a history of rent control in NSW including an overview of the key government inquiries held into the LTA Act. Discussed is the contentious issue of the number of protected tenants potentially remaining in NSW. This issue is considered by many as a compass to the most appropriate reform options. Key stakeholder submissions and options for reform are presented together with an overview of rent control in other Australian jurisdictions.

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