South Australian rental reform 2022

South Australian tenants are urged to make their voices heard as the State Government considers reforms to the state’s residential tenancies laws.

The discussion forms part of the most extensive review of the Residential Tenancies Act in almost a decade.

Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs Andrea Michaels said the consultation phase with Australia’s residential housing community is an important first step in ensuring the state’s laws are up to date, cover relevant issues and work in the best interests of tenants and landlords.

“As Australia continues to face a widespread rental crisis with lack of stock and affordability issues, it’s been one of my priorities to ensure we have contemporary, effective residential tenancies laws in this state,” she said.

“With cost-of-living pressures putting a real strain on household budgets across the board, now is the right time to look at how the rental property market has evolved, what people expect and how we can make our laws modern and fair for both tenants and landlords.”

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For context, the last substantial review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 was done in 2014. Rental prices have since increased significantly, new rental bond products have entered the market, and there’s been a general shift towards more online transactions.

Earlier this year, Minister Michaels convened a forum with stakeholders in the rental sector. The group discussed current renting issues and considered how renting laws could be updated to ensure the right balance between the rights and responsibilities of landlords ad tenants.

Consumer and Business Services (CBS) has also considered the matters raised during the stakeholder forum and the issues raised by tenants, landlords and property managers through its tenancy advice service.

Consultation has now begun on potential changes, with the release of a discussion paper marking the start of the most extensive review since 2014.

What’s up for discussion this time?

  • Renting with pets
  • A crackdown on the practice of rent bidding
  • Maximum bond amount
  • Standardising application forms
  • Whether the minimum notice required for not renewing a fixed-term tenancy agreement should be increased
  • New requirements for rooming houses and share accommodation
  • Housing standards
  • Tenants making safety modifications and minor changes
  • Support for renters experiencing domestic violence
  • Water bills and payment requirements
  • Contaminated properties due to illegal activity

What are the next steps?

Your feedback will help to shape the laws, rights, and responsibilities of tenants, landlords, agents and property managers. Consumer and Business Services will consider your input and provide a report to the Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs in the first quarter of 2023.

Draft legislation will be released for consultation in due course.

How do I get involved?

To read the discussion paper, make a submission or take part in the online survey, visit the Your Say website.