HELPLINE Q&A: Can a tenant carry out changes to the rental premises?

25 May 2021

Yes, a tenant can make certain changes of a “minor nature” to the premises.

Section 66(2A) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) sets out what changes are prescribed as being of a “minor nature” and that the landlord is not able to unreasonably withhold consent. Further, with respect to certain prescribed minor changes, the landlord may give consent on the condition that an appropriately qualified person makes the change. Clause 22 of the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 (NSW) lists the changes that are deemed to be of a minor nature.

You should always advise tenants that they are obliged to obtain the landlord’s written consent, even if the change is of a “minor nature”.

Also, before any changes are carried out, you should remind tenants of their ‘make good’ requirements at the end of the tenancy (i.e. they are obliged to repair any damage caused by removing a fixture or to compensate the landlord for the reasonable costs of repair).

Further, always strongly recommend that all changes be carried out by a qualified tradesperson, not the tenant themselves.

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