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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 15 February 2018) . . Page.. 321 ..

The online survey received 94 responses. JACS received four submissions through the JACS website, 23 by email and eight by post. Approximately 40 people attended the two public forums.

(2) The report on the review of the RTA was tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly during the June 2016 sittings. The report included first and second tranche recommendations.

First tranche recommendations

The RTA and Uncollected Goods Act 1996 were amended in 2016 to give effect to the first tranche recommendations in the report. The Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment Act 2016 made the following amendments:

1. The RTA contains an optional ‘fair clause for posted people’, which the parties to the agreement can terminate the agreement if posted elsewhere in the course of their employment (e.g. military deployments in the defence force). The RTA was amended to provide:

(i) in order to be valid, a notice exercising the posting clause must be accompanied by evidence, such as a letter from the employer confirming the details of the deployment and confirming that the timing is non-negotiable; and

(ii) the notice period for exercising the posting clause that has the effect of terminating a fixed term lease be increased from four weeks to eight weeks.

2. The RTA was amended to provide that, where a protection order has been granted with an exclusion clause, a protected person can apply to ACAT for an order to terminate the tenancy and to require the lessor to enter into a tenancy agreement with that person.

3. Section 44 of the RTA was amended to include a note stating that where an interim domestic violence or personal protection order with an exclusion clause is in place and the protected person is a tenant who wishes to leave the property, this may constitute grounds for termination of a fixed term agreement due to significant hardship.

4. The Standard Terms of the RTA were amended to expressly permit a protected person under an interim or final order (whether a tenant or person residing at the residence) to change the locks. A copy of the key to the changed lock must be provided to the lessor or their agent as soon as possible unless doing so would compromise the safety of the protected person.

5. The RTA was amended to include a requirement for end-of-tenancy inspections in the presence of both the lessor and the tenant. The amendment also requires a condition report based on the final inspection and signed by both parties where possible.

6. The RTA was amended to require the lessor to notify the tenant if they will be making a claim on the bond and the reason for the claim.

7. The Uncollected Goods Act was amended to clarify the application of the Act for lessors dealing with goods, including abandoned vehicles, left on leased premises and in common areas of complexes by an outgoing tenant

8. The RTA was amended to allow the inclusion of an optional additional ‘break-lease’ term similar to those available in NSW.

9. The RTA was amended to provide a right of access to a lessor or their agent where they reasonably believe that premises have been abandoned. The amendments include safeguards to prevent any potential misuse of this provision.

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