Staying ahead of South Australia’s rental reforms

With the rental property market continuing as a topic of media interest, authorities in South Australia have begun a consultation process to reform regulatory guidelines in the state. The reforms are intended to update and modernise the Residential Tenancies Act 1995, which was last reviewed in 2014, and follows reforms enacted in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Once feedback has been received, a report will be considered and legislation prepared that will impact tenants, landlords and property managers. When the changes are brought in, property managers will need to understand the reforms and ensure their portfolios remain compliant to the legislation.

The review body has stated its intention to balance the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved in a rental agreement as they bring the legislation in line with the modern property market. The challenge for property managers is in understanding the new rules and communicating them effectively to landlords and tenants, making sure that properties and lease agreements comply with up-to-date regulations.

At present, the review body is seeking consultation, which is an opportunity for those in the industry to have their say and influence the eventual decisions. Regulation in other states has focused on the habitability of rental properties, with rules around, for example, electrical safety and structural integrity. These standards are critical in ensuring that tenants can safely live in a property, and that landlords are safe from liability in the case of injury to the tenants.

While South Australia currently have prescribed Minimum Housing Standards, in some cases tenants have chosen not to report on repairs and are continuing to live in houses that do not meet the Housing Improvement Act. The reform is also proposing the introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards to improve comfort and reduce environmental impact.

Overall, the South Australia rental reform consultation is an important step in addressing the concerns of property managers, landlords and tenants and improving the rental market in the state. By providing an opportunity to raise concerns and make recommendations, the government can work towards creating a rental market that is fair, affordable, and meets the needs of all parties. Have your say before 5pm 16th December consultation process.

QLD minimum standards are coming! Be one of the first to know when the new reports are available.