Legislation changes: Landlord bulletin issue 6 (June 2017)
28 June 2017
Be aware - changes to the law
Be aware - changes to the law
On 3 July 2017, changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989 will come into effect. Acquaint yourself with these changes as summarised below; the information will assist you in managing your rental property efficiently.
The amended tenancy agreements and forms will be available online and must be used from 3 July 2017 onwards.
You should destroy any unused physical copies and replace any saved electronic versions of these amended documents.
Changes to Form 1AA Residential Tenancy Agreement, Information sheets and Form 1C
Form 1AA, the prescribed tenancy agreement, has been amended in a number of ways. One significant change is that it will no longer need a witness signature. This will allow a lessor or a tenant to sign and send the Form 1AA electronically, pursuant to the Electronic Transactions Act 2011. The Form 1AB Social Housing Residential Tenancy Agreement has also been amended.
The Information sheets that must be provided to tenants at the start of a tenancy have also been amended. These are the Form 1AC (for written tenancy agreements) and the Form 1AD (for non-written agreements).
Form 1C - Notice of termination (termination for one of seven grounds, other than non-payment of rent) - has also been amended.
Notice of proposed entry to premises (Form 19)
There are a number of circumstances in which a lessor may enter the premises. For certain types of proposed entry, notice must be given in writing. From 3 July 2017 onwards, you must use Form 19 - Notice of proposed entry to premises for these circumstances (the types are listed on the form).
You will now be able to issue the notice without first having to make a reasonable attempt to negotiate a day and time for entry.
The form includes information about the tenant’s right to negotiate a more suitable time if the time is unduly inconvenient, and the obligation of the lessor to make a reasonable effort to negotiate a more suitable time.
Previously, where a lessor was storing goods abandoned by a tenant, within seven days of storing the goods the lessor had to complete Form 2 and send it to the tenant's forwarding address if provided, and complete Form 3 and publish it in a newspaper circulated throughout the state.
From 3 July 2017, you may only have to complete Form 2 and provide it to the tenant within seven days of storing the goods. You only have to complete Form 2 if:
- you can give the notice to the former tenant in person; or
- mail it to a forwarding address they have provided; or
- send it via electronic means, if they consent to this method.
However, if their address is unknown and you are unable to provide notice of abandoned goods via these means, you must complete Form 3, publish it in a newspaper circulated throughout the state within seven days and post it in a prominent position at the abandoned premises within nine days. You do not need to complete Form 2.
Electronic serving of notices
It is now expressly stated that any notice or document required or authorised to be given may be done so by electronic means, such as email.
To be able to serve notice effectively by electronic means, agreement to do so should be stated in the tenancy agreement, neither party should have withdrawn consent, and at the time the notice/document is issued it should be reasonable to expect that the information will be accessible and available at a later date.
Changes to the Magistrate's Court process
The Magistrate’s Court will no longer be publishing notices about court applications in the newspaper. All residential tenancy related court notices will be published on a website maintained by the Magistrates Court.
You can access the amended Act and Regulations from 3 July 2017 by visiting the State Publisher’s website.
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