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NCAT legislation amends needed ASAP 

3 August 2017

A decision that could leave tenants and landlords with no remedy to disputes must be rectified immediately. 

The legal loophole emerged after the Court of Appeal declared in February that the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), which handles disputes between tenants and landlords, has no jurisdiction if one party lives in another state.

REINSW President John Cunningham said the residential rental property market is crucial to our society and involves significant investment by a broad investor base. 

He added: “Inevitably there are disputes between parties which requires resolution. These disputes must have an efficient and cost effective means of resolution.

“It is not satisfactory for government to ignore the issue uncovered earlier this year as doing so creates additional problems, costs and disharmony between the parties involved.

“A resolution can be achieved in full or part by replicating legislation in other states where the problems created by the NSW legislation does not exist. 

“Instead the government is sitting on its hands waiting for a decision from the High Court. The High Court is a very slow moving creature, so it could take until the end of the year for the matter to be heard. 

“Meanwhile, it exposes both tenants and landlords to additional issues than the original dispute. Importantly the High Court may agree with the NSW Court of Appeal so the problem in these circumstances will continue.

“In the best interests of this important sector, the NSW Government must act swiftly and effectively and rush the required amendment to the legislation through parliament as quickly as possible.”