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New tenancy laws from 1 April 2023

Friday, 31 March 2023

New tenancy laws from 1 April 2023

The ACT Government has provided the following information in relation to new tenancy laws

The ACT Government wants to let you know about important changes to tenancy laws. The recent reforms to residential tenancy laws may affect you. On 21 March 2023, new laws passed the ACT Legislative Assembly to:

  • End ‘no cause’ evictions for tenants
  • Introduce a minimum standard for ceiling insulation
  • Prevent landlords/agent from asking for or encouraging rent bids, and
  • Support tenants to grow food and to compost at a rental property.

These changes commence on 1 April 2023.

Ending ‘no cause’ evictions: Landlords are now only able to end a tenancy for one of the reasons listed in the Residential Tenancies Act. This means tenants will no longer fear being evicted without justification and landlords can continue to manage their properties effectively.

Minimum standard for ceiling insulation: There is a new minimum energy efficiency standard for ceiling insulation in rental properties, with a phase-in period between 1 April 2023 to 30 November 2026. Landlords are now required to indicate if their property meets the minimum standard in all rental advertisements/lease agreements and have nine months from a new lease being signed to comply, unless exempt.

Prevent landlords/agents asking for rent bids: Landlords/agents must now advertise a property with a fixed rental price and cannot ask for, or encourage, prospective tenants to bid more than what is advertised. However, tenants can offer amounts above the advertised rent, if they want to, voluntarily and landlords can accept higher offers.

Support to grow food and compost: Tenants are now able to plant fruits and vegetables, flowers, herbs or shrubs, as long as they grow no higher than two metres, and without removing existing vegetation. Tenants can have a removable compost bin at the property. Tenants must seek agreement and landlords cannot unreasonably refuse.

Rent Relief Fund: The ACT Government Rent Relief Fund opens on 17 April 2023. The Fund will provide one-off grants of up to four weeks rent, capped at $2,500, to low-income households in the ACT’s private rental sector who are experiencing rental stress or severe financial hardship.

More information

Please visit the Justice and Community Safety Directorate website on Renting and Occupancy reforms for further information.

Assistance for Private Tenants/Occupants: If you are a tenant or occupant and require legal advice, you can contact the Legal Aid Tenancy Advice Service on 1300 402 512 or find out more information on their website.

For Landlords: For a referral to a private lawyer, visit the ACT Law Society’s website which allows you to search for a lawyer or call the Society on 6274 0300.

If you have further questions, please contact JACSLPPCivil@act.gov.au

Please note: This information has been provided by the ACT Government and may not be endorsed by the ACT Law Society.