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Residential Tenancy Amendment Bill 2013

Smoke alarms in residential rental properties

 

Residential Tenancy Amendment Bill 2013 tabled in Parliament

 

On Wednesday 20 March 2013, the Minister for Corrections and Consumer Protection, Nick McKim MP, tabled the Residential Tenancy Amendment Bill 2013 in the Tasmanian Parliament.

The Bill proposes a number of amendments to update the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 in order to bring the legislation more in line with the current rental market, and balance the rights and obligations of tenants and property owners.

Key provisions of the Bill include:

  • extended notice periods at the end of a lease to provide greater certainty of tenure and more time for tenants to relocate where necessary;
  • expanding the jurisdiction of the Residential Tenancy Commissioner to include making decisions about unreasonable rent increases and issuing orders for repairs;
  • requiring all properties be advertised or offered for rent at a fixed price;
  • the introduction of minimum standards for rental properties; and
  • clarifying the responsibility of property owners and tenants for maintenance and repairs.

It is expected that the Bill will be debated in Parliament in the coming months.

The full text of the Bill is available here.

 

Smoke alarms in residential rental properties 

 

In August 2012, the Tasmanian Parliament passed the Residential Tenancy (Smoke Alarms) Act 2012, which requires that, from the date the Act is proclaimed, owners of residential rental properties must ensure smoke alarms are in place in their rental properties while they are tenanted under a residential tenancy agreement.

The Residential Tenancy (Smoke Alarms) Act 2012 is supported by the Residential Tenancy (Smoke Alarms) Regulations 2012.  The Regulations set out the detailed requirements for the:

 

  • class of premises required to have smoke alarms;
  • type of smoke alarms required;
  • number of alarms required in premises;
  • location of alarms in premises; and
  • maintenance, testing and cleaning obligations of property owners and tenants. 

     

The Act provides that for the first three years from commencement, 9 volt removable battery alarms will comply with the legislation.  However, after the initial 3 year transition period, alarms must be either mains powered or 10 year non removable battery alarms in order to comply.

Wednesday 1 May 2013 has now been set as the date for commencement of these requirements.

To view the legislation please click here:

 

Consumer Affairs has prepared some explanatory materials to assist tenants and owners in understanding the new requirements and in particular their obligations under the new Act. Please click here to download the Smoke Alarms fact sheet [pdf/369kb/6 pages].  

 

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