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SA Rental Reform Update

By Natalia Petkidis

South Australian tenants will soon be better protected by changes to rental laws. A phased introduction of the initiatives will commence on 1 March 2024.

What’s Changing?

Rental reforms that don’t require significant adjustments to industry or community practices will commence on 1 March 2024.

These include:

  • Ensuring rent can’t be increased more than once within 12 months even when mutually agreed during the lease
  • Creating penalties for existing offences including:
  1. requiring prospective tenants to be notified if the premises is for sale and
  2. existing tenants to be given 14 days’ notice when a property is to be sold
  • Tougher penalties for all offences including:
  1. charging excessive rent or rent in advance
  2. discriminating against tenants with children
  3. keeping inadequate records of payments
  4. interfering with tenants’ privacy that amounts to harassment
  5. incorrectly listing a tenants’ history on a tenant database (‘black list’)
  6. not lodging a bond
  7. entering into an agreement to evade the operation of the Residential Tenancies Act 1995
  8. all residential parks offences
  • Clarifying that landlords can’t unreasonably refuse tenants sub-letting rental properties and may only seek reasonable expenses arising from the sub-letting of rental properties.

These changes follow last year’s priorities that limited most rental bonds to 4-weeks’ rent (previously 6 weeks), banned rent bidding and protected tenant information.

Article sourced from Consumer and Business Services website.

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