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Benchmark - Real Estate Cases & Commentary
Tenancy matters
    •  Rent
        -  Payment of rent
            >  Use of premises paid by salary sacrifice

Use of premises pay by salary sacrifice 

The applicant was the police officer in charge of the Eden Police Station, and occupied the police residence at Eden. He paid rent for the use of those premises by a salary sacrificing arrangement, in which his salary was reduced by 3% each fortnight.

On the question of whether the Tribunal had jurisdiction to hear this case, the Tribunal relied firstly on Section 9(1) of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2010 (NSW). This section states that, where a person is given the right to occupy a premises for the purpose of residence in return for, or partly in return for, carrying out work in connection with the premises or the person’s employment, this arrangement is taken to be a residential tenancy agreement.

The Tribunal also noted that the salary sacrifice arrangement constituted the payment of consideration for occupation of the premises, which itself would suffice to make the arrangement a residential tenancy agreement.

The Tribunal noted that there had been an oral residential tenancy agreement in this case, which had been entered into in 2001, and had been confirmed by performance ever since.

The Tribunal noted that a shed which formed part of the residential premises was unsafe in that it was unable to withstand appropriate wind loads, and required to be supported by additional pillars. The Tribunal pointed out that a landlord has a general obligation to maintain premises in a reasonable state of repair (section 63 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010). The Tribunal stated that repairs to the shed were required for the tenant’s safety and security.

The Tribunal ordered that the repairs be made.

Blanch v Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second [2011] NSWCTTT 185