ACT Strengthens Renter Protections and Simplifies Rules for Charities and Recruiters

ACT, Australia

Description: The ACT Government has introduced new laws to protect renters from unfair rent increases and simplify regulations for charities and recruitment companies. The reforms aim to address the housing crisis and ensure fairness for all parties involved.

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In a significant move to address the housing crisis and ensure fairness, the ACT Government has introduced new laws to protect renters from unfair rent increases and simplify regulations for charities and recruitment companies. The reforms were part of a Bill put forward by ACT Greens MLA, Jo Clay earlier this year.

Under the new laws, landlords will no longer be able to increase rent beyond the current legal limit once a tenant moves to a month-to-month tenancy or where there are changes to the agreement, such as a housemate moving out. This will provide renters with fairer conditions and greater financial surety. The new laws will ensure that in all tenancies, landlords cannot impose a greater rent increase unless the tenant agrees or the Tribunal approves it.

The legislation also supports share-housing arrangements by making procedural requirements around starting and ending a tenancy more flexible. The Bill also makes a number of de-regulatory reforms for charities and recruitment companies.

Other key changes include implementing national fundraising principles, removing licensing requirements for recruitment companies, and enhancing consumer protections. The Commissioner for Fair Trading will be able to fine businesses and traders who fail to attend scheduled consumer conciliations for low value consumer claims (less than $5,000).

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said that the legislation was about creating a fairer and more equitable ACT. “We’re removing unnecessary obstacles for charities and businesses while ensuring that renters, especially those escaping domestic violence, have the support and protection they need,” he said.

ACT Greens MLA, Jo Clay, welcomed the amendments as a step towards ensuring fairness for renters. “For a long time, the ACT has had the best renters’ rights in the country, but in a housing crisis, we need to go further and faster. Today’s amendments are a small change, but they do close a loophole which allowed rental prices to increase for many in a market already slanted against renters,” she said.

The Housing and Consumer Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 promotes a more efficient and equitable environment for renters, consumers, community groups, and businesses.

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