The ACT Government will introduce a suite of new measures to provide better support and protections for renters in the ACT.

This includes reforms that give tenants a greater say in allowing pets in rental properties.

“The ACT Government is committed to making sure that people, especially vulnerable people, in our community have the protections they need in the rental market”, Minister Ramsay said.

“These laws are yet another step towards more secure, liveable and affordable housing for all Canberrans. We will continue our work on the issues that affect renters, following on from the detailed consultation we have done on tenancies and other living arrangements like caravan parks, student accommodation, and boarding houses.”

The new laws will enhance the security and liveability of rental properties by addressing the following issues:

  • Ownership of pets in rental properties – the laws will create a presumption in favour of allowing tenants to have pets.
  • Making minor modifications to rental properties – we will strengthen renters’ rights to make basic modifications in their own homes. This will cover things like blu tack and picture hooks.
  • Break lease fees and obligations – the bill will address the practice of charging amounts beyond what a landlord actually expends in cases where a tenant leaves early, especially in cases where there is a replacement tenant.
  • Rent increases – the legislation is being developed to shift the onus from tenants to landlords to justify a rental increase that is excessive beyond a basic CPI-based threshold. There will still be room for landlords to adjust to market conditions, but the default will be that rental increases should be in line with a set formula.

“This Government will keep working to deliver amendments and services that support our housing priorities and will continue to deliver legislation and policy reforms that prioritise the most vulnerable households in our community,” Minister Ramsay said.

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