Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Proposed repeal of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1899

Last week the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, the Hon. Victor Dominello, introduced the Fair Trading Legislation (Repeal and Amendment) Bill 2015 into the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. Among other things, this bill will repeal the Landlord and Tenant Act 1899.

In his second reading speech, the Minister said that the 1899 Act is surplus to the State's statutory requirements. This is not right, because it plays a critical role in determining the way a property can be recovered if it is subject to a protected tenancy. It has a few other functions, too, like providing a bit of a backstop for some tenants who are excluded from the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 - such as those in the case of the lost public housing heritage tenancies.

True, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1899 is not very frequently put to work - at least not directly. And it is also true that much of the work it does is unlikely to be seen in the harsh light of day... but that doesn't make it superfluous. Getting rid of it would be like taking the headlights out of your car because you only ever drive to lunch. One day you might need to stay out a little later than usual, and it's only then that you will understand the true nature of your problem.

The Tenants' Union's full comment on the proposed repeal of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1899 can be found on our webiste.

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