19 December 2019

Sweeping changes to NSW Residential Tenancy Laws set to take effect in March 2020. 

The NSW Office of Fair Trading has announced sweeping changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Act 2018 [NSW] and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 [NSW].

These changes will come into effect on 23 March 2020.

“Significant changes are coming which will affect property managers, landlords and tenants,” said Leanne Pilkington, REINSW President.

Some of the reforms include:

  • Rent increases must be limited to once per year during a periodic agreement when the fixed term has passed.
  • Landlords must obtain tenants’ prior written consent to publish photographs or video recordings of premises, including property interiors for advertising purposes which may show tenants’ possessions.
  • Tenants may make minor alterations, fixtures, additions and renovations with the landlord’s consent, but the landlord cannot unreasonably withhold consent if the alteration, fixture or addition is one from a prescribed list in the 2019 Regulation.
  • Repairs and replacements of hardwired smoke alarms must be carried out by an authorised electrician
  • Non-payment of water usage or utility charges may now result in tenancy termination (in addition to non-payment of rent)
  • Tenants have the right to break their lease if it is signed after 23 March 2020. Tenants will pay a break fee of:
    • 4 weeks rent if less than 25% of the fixed term has expired
    • 3 weeks rent if 25% or more but less than 50% of the fixed term has expired
    • 2 weeks rent if 50% or more but less than 75% of the fixed term has expired
    • 1 week’s rent if 75% or more of the fixed term has expired

  • Victims of domestic violence will be able to terminate their tenancy without penalty

REINSW President, Leanne Pilkington is available for comment.

Download the Media Release Here.

You can access more information about the changes to the Residential Tenancies Act on the NSW Fair Trading website.

For more information, please contact:
Jessica Husband + 61 2 8267 0537 | 0404 278 149 | jhusband@reinsw.com.au


About REINSW

The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) is the peak industry body for real estate agents and property professionals in NSW. It represents more than 2000 agencies across residential sales, property management, commercial, strata management, buyers’ agency, agency services and auctioneering.

Established in 1910, REINSW works to improve the standards, professionalism and expertise of its members to continually evolve and innovate the industry. It lobbies the government and industry on behalf of members, develops new products and services to benefit agencies and professionals, and offers training and ongoing professional development. For more information, visit reinsw.com.au.