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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 642 ..

MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: If people have to deal with this on a month-by-month basis, it is not a good situation for a tenant. There is a lot of insecurity. If the landlord wants to have that short-term arrangement, then there is a capacity to do that now. This amendment is about not having tenants caught up in a situation which is very insecure and difficult for them.

MR QUINLAN (6.15): I wanted to cite an example. In Cooleman Court in Weston where I live, one shop has had a number of tenants. It would appear that that shop is being let at a fairly cheap rate to people who have goods to sell but are experimenting in business. It may well be that the short continuous lease of six month by six months or three months by three month is by mutual convenience. It could be that both the landlord and the tenant are benefiting from it.

Now we get to a situation where if that goes beyond a rather short period then all of a sudden that mutual arrangement falls totally within the control of the tenant. If you look again at life strictly through the eyes of the tenant, it is a good protection but it could have inhibited landlords from providing that facility for the people who were in that shop some time ago flogging hardware at a fairly cheap rate. Now it is full of T-shirts and footy jumpers and whatever. I do not know what it will be full of next time around.

An automatic right accruing to a tenant in that situation could mean that landlords cannot offer that facility anymore because they would be at risk of being tied down to an arrangement they were not happy with. I think the amendment needs a rethink and needs to be a little bit more sophisticated to be part of this legislation.

MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again briefly.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: I am not quite sure whether I have made it clear what we are saying. We are not saying that after the six months it is automatically a five-year lease. We are saying that that is where you make a decision one way or the other, and you can get legal advice, as we have already debated, to have a shorter period of time. We are not saying it has to be five years. We are saying that you have to make an agreement. You have to make up your mind what is going on here, not drag tenants through month by month indefinitely.

Amendment negatived.

MS TUCKER (6.18): I move amendment No 15 circulated in my name [see schedule 2 part 1 at page 690].

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