The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA) was amended in 2020 to allow the ACT Government to make minimum standards for residential tenancies.

While at this stage no minimum standards have been introduced, the Public Exposure Draft of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2022 includes changes to the RTA to support the future introduction of these standards.

These changes (which will only apply to minimum standards once they are in force) include:

  • when advertising the property for rent, a landlord must note whether the property meets any minimum standards in force and must provide information on this issue to the tenant at the start of their tenancy. Failure to disclose whether the property meets the standard when advertising the property will be an offence.
  • creating a right for landlords to access the rental property to enable compliance with minimum standards, including access to do an initial assessment about to whether the premises meets the standard (if required), access to undertake any work required to ensure the property meets the standard and access to conduct any follow up inspections to ensure work has been undertaken correctly or to assess that the property complies with the standard.
  • allowing a tenant to terminate the tenancy where the property does not meet minimum standards (and an exemption does not apply).
  • allowing a tenant to apply to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) for a rent reduction for any period where the property was required to meet minimum standards and did not.
  • allowing the tenant to apply to ACAT for compensation where minimum standards are not met and that has resulted in additional costs to the tenant.
  • clarifying in the standard residential tenancy terms that the landlord is required to comply with any minimum standards in force (unless an exemption applies).

To have YourSay on this and other rental reforms, please: