New residential tenancy laws pass in NSW

The New South Wales Parliament has passed a number of reforms to residential leases including mandatory fees for breaking a fixed term lease, minimum standards, and limiting rent increases. The Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Bill 2018 states that all rented properties will have to meet seven minimum standards in order to be deemed habitable, namely that it is structurally sound, there is adequate natural or artificial light in each room, there is adequate ventilation, the property is supplied with electricity or gas for lighting, heating and appliances, there is adequate plumbing and drainage, the property is connected to a water supply service, and it contains bathroom facilities that allows for user privacy.

In addition, rent increases will be limited to once every 12 months and mandatory set fees for breaking a lease early will be measured by the proportion of the lease left at the time of the breach. There have also been protections implemented for tenants who break a lease due to domestic violence within the property, by allowing victims to terminate the tenancy without penalty and ensure they are not held accountable for property damage that occurred during a domestic violence incident.

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