Residential Tenancies Act – Smoke Alarm Obligations (Part 3)

There are new smoke alarm obligations for landlords and tenants under Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 which commenced on 23 March 2020.

Landlords need to ensure smoke alarms installed in a rented property are in working order.

Under the new Regulation, a landlord must repair/replace a battery-operated or hardwired smoke alarm and:

• carry out annual checks to ensure all smoke alarms installed at the property are in working order
• replace a removable battery in all smoke alarms in the period specified by the smoke alarm manufacturer (for a removable lithium battery) or otherwise annually
• repair/replace a smoke alarm that is not working within 2 business days of becoming aware that it is not working
• provide more than an hour’s notice to the tenant to replace or carry out repairs to the smoke alarm
• replace a smoke alarm with a new smoke alarm within 10 years from the manufactured date, or earlier if specified by the smoke alarm manufacturer.… Read More

Residential Tenancies Act – What is fit for habitation? (Part 2)

There are new minimum standards to clarify “What premises are fit for habitation” under Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 which commenced on 23 March 2020.

Currently landlords are required to provide a rented property in a reasonable state of cleanliness and ‘fit for habitation”. The changes introduce 7 minimum standards which clarify what ‘fit for habitation’ means.

To be fit to live in, the property must (as a minimum):

1. Be structurally sound
2. Have adequate natural or artificial lighting in each room, except storage rooms or garages
3. Have adequate ventilation
4. Be supplied with electricity or gas, and have enough electricity or gas sockets for lighting, heating and other appliances
5.… Read More

New Form of Residential Tenancies Act (Part 1)

There’s been amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 which commenced on 23 March 2020.

The purpose of the changes are to improve the tenants’ renting experience while ensuring landlords can improve management of their properties.

The aim of the changes are:-

* to assist with reducing disputes over repairs and maintenance,
* increase protection and certainty for tenants, and;
* clarify the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords.

One of these changes is a new form of Residential Tenancy Agreement and Condition report to be used for agreements entered into from 23 March 2020.… Read More

Homebuilders Grant

Recently, the Australian Prime Minister announced a limited time only grant to assist homeowners with building a new home or substantially renovating their existing home.
The Homebuilder Grant will give eligible home owners an amount of $25,000.00 toward their building contracts.
The eligibility requirements for the grant are as follows:

1. Australian citizen/s over the age of 18 years old;
2. Owner/s of the land must not be a company or a trust;
3. Be an individual with a taxable income less than $125,000.00 or if you are a couple with a combined taxable income of less than $200,000.00;
4. Enter into a contract for building work after 4 June 2020 and before 31 December 2020, with construction commencing within 3 months of the contract date; and
5.… Read More

Acquiring Property? Revenue NSW requires more than just payment of Stamp Duty

So, you are looking to find the perfect property. You have spoken to your bank and know the price range which works best for you. You have even remembered to factor stamp duty into your budget. For those who may have forgotten, stamp duty is a duty which is payable when you acquire property in NSW. For example, purchasing a property for $400,000 would incur stamp duty of $13,452. If you are a first home buyer, you may be eligible for an exemption from duty.

If you are acquiring property as a gift, stamp duty is still payable, unless an exemption applies.… Read More

Notification of new address details after selling your property

So you have sold your house and moving to a new property, who do I need to notify?

First, you should contact Australia Post and complete the mail redirection form to have any mail redirected to your new address. This redirection can be for a period of 1, 3, 6 or 12 months. You also need to ensure everyone in the household will be covered under the redirection form.

Some government departments like Roads & Maritime Services and the Firearms Registry have requirements that you need to advise them within 14 days of your change of address.

The other organisations/businesses you need to advise of your change of address are:-

• Roads & Maritime Services for your driver’s licence, vehicle/trailer/caravan and boat registrations
• Firearms Registry
• Services Australia: – Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support Agency
• Department of Veterans’ Affairs
• Australian Taxation Office
• Electoral Commission
• Recreational Fishing Licence

• Bank/Credit Union/Financial Institution
• Insurance providers
• Company Share registries
• Tradesperson/professional licence i.e.… Read More

Family Trust– Surcharge Taxes Now In Place

If you own a Family Trust that owns residential land in NSW or intend to purchase residential land and/or premises using your Family Trust, please note that Revenue NSW considers a Family Trust to be automatically subject to the foreign person surcharge on stamp duty and Land Tax.

The surcharge for land tax is 2% above the usual charge of 1.6%.

The surcharge for a foreign Person purchasing land is 8% of the purchase value.

Land Tax is charged every year so it is a particularly penal and unfair provision. It takes the annual land tax charge to 3.6% per year.… Read More

Residential Off-the-plan Contracts

It is said, “The only constant in life is change”. How true, particularly in law where legislation seems to be constantly changing.

For those of you who are looking to develop residential property or purchase new residential property you need to be aware of the new requirements which came into effect on 1 December 2019.

A developer is now required to provide a Disclosure Statement which should be attached to the Contract.

The Disclosure Statement needs to include:-

• A draft plan of the property prepared by a Registered Surveyor showing the lot number, location and area;
• A draft floor plan and location plan of the property;
• Any proposed bylaws, development Contract (including strata development contract) and management statement; and
• Schedule of finishes to be included in the property.… Read More

The Simultaneous Settlement: Selling & Purchasing Property at the same time

So, you have sold your property and have decided to purchase another. It may sound simple, however the process can be rather cumbersome and there are various matters which require your careful consideration. For instance, should your purchase Contract be made conditional upon your sale? Do you have a cash deposit available for your purchase or are you relying on your sale proceeds? Can you obtain early access to your purchase property to ensure vacant possession of your sale property is provided on settlement?

The Conditional Contract:
If you are relying on your sale proceeds for your purchase, it is important to make your purchase Contract conditional upon completion of your sale.… Read More

Ending a Residential Tenancy – from the Landlord’s perspective.

There are strict rules that apply when a Landlord wants to bring a residential tenancy to an end.

A termination notice must be provided to the tenant. This notice must be in writing, addressed to the tenant, signed and dated by you or your managing agent, provide the date the tenancy is to be terminated and the tenant needs to vacate and in some circumstances provide the reason for the notice.

In some circumstances there is no minimum notice period for the tenant – for example if the tenant dies, the property becomes uninhabitable or is destroyed, is being compulsorily acquired (for example by Council) or is not legally usable as a residence.… Read More