Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1762 ..
terminates under a CTPO and the tenant stays in the property. Master Mossop said that some provisions in the act suggested that the tenancy was terminated while other provisions suggested that the tenancy remained on foot. Master Mossop recommended that the legislation be amended to clarify the issue.
The bill responds to these concerns by removing the self-executing CTPO provisions and establishing an alternative process for managing rental arrears. This is achieved by introducing the concept of a payment order. This process is very similar to the CTPO process with the exception that after a person fails to comply with a tribunal-ordered payment plan the landlord must go back to the ACAT before taking steps to evict the person. This provides an important safeguard for vulnerable people and clarifies the situation legally so that both landlords and tenants can proceed with certainty.
The new process will be clear and certain for cases where tenants do not pay rent. A lessor will be able to apply for a payment order. If the tenant does not comply with the payment order, this does not automatically end the tenancy. Instead the lessor has the right to apply for a termination and possession order within 60 days of a breach of a payment order. If the lessor does not take action on the breach the payment order, residential tenancy agreement and any debt under the residential tenancy agreement continue unaffected. This gives the lessor and the tenant the opportunity to negotiate a resolution to the failed payment rather than automatically ending the tenancy.
The ACAT will have a role in deciding what happens when a payment order is breached and a lessor decides to take steps towards eviction. At that stage the ACAT will have the ability to confirm the payment order and leave it in place, make another payment order with different terms, set aside the payment order, or issue a warrant for eviction. The ACAT will have the ability to consider hardship to tenants as part of this process. The CTPO amendments are an important reform for vulnerable tenants, and I thank Canberra Community Law and the Real Estate Institute of the ACT for their engagement in the development of the CTPO reforms.
This bill reflects the government's commitment to protecting the most vulnerable people in our community and it is one more step in an ongoing process of reform. There are amendments to help make housing more secure and to help ensure that vulnerable people are treated fairly in the legal system. There are amendments that reflect our commitment to ensuring that innovation in our markets does not come at the expense of people who are at risk. This government will keep working to improve our residential tenancies legislation in line with our commitment to building a safer, stronger and more connected city. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Parton) adjourned to the next sitting.
Casino and Other Gaming Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Mr Ramsay, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.