You can read more about the changes here, but what are the big changes that will be of particular interest to tenants? As is often the case with legislative reform, it's a mixed bag. Here are the ups and downs of four big changes which will affect tenants.
|Considering the futility of life without strong tenancy rights|
This is only the default for new by-laws. Existing strata schemes will need to vote to adopt the change, and even new strata schemes can choose not to use it - and maintain an anti-pet stance.
Of course no matter what the strata scheme decides, currently your landlord still has the ability to put a no-pets clause in a residential tenancy agreement. There is still a long way to go before tenants might make grown-up decisions about pets for themselves.
|Hang me out to dry, you wrung me out, too too too many times|
|We won't take up too much room!|
By extension, tenants will have clearer protections against strata schemes arbitrarily deciding to cancel key cards with the introduction of this by law removing one of the dodgy reasons some strata schemes have used to lock tenants out of their homes.
It's important to remember that vulnerable tenants who are being forced into overcrowded accommodation may not actually have much of a choice in these matters. That's not to say strata should allow overcrowding, but it is important that it is the exploitative landlord who is penalised by their breach rather than their vulnerable sub tenants. It is not clear in the new law that this will always be the case.
|Whiskers thought he was fitting in well|
at his first strata committee meeting
In strata schemes where more than 50% of the lots have tenants, the tenants will be able to elect a tenant to represent who can speak, but not vote, on their behalf. How effective this will be at ensuring the majority of the strata community is heard remains to be seen.