Page 5555 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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(6) The ACAT issued a practice direction on 29 April 2009 stating that there was no need to seek endorsement for a number of clauses that ‘clearly are covered by the Act and the standard clauses in the schedule and at any rate, have been endorsed before and therefore need no repeat endorsement’. These include clauses restricting keeping pets, on the grounds that clause 53 of the standard residential tenancy terms in schedule 1 of the Residential Tenancies Act (Tenant’s use of the premises without interference) implies the right of tenants to have pets unless otherwise stipulated and no smoking clauses.

On the issue of professional carpet cleaning, the ACAT stated that while endorsements are not required ‘we will only accept carpets having to be professionally cleaned at the end of a tenancy, if the carpet was delivered in that condition at the beginning of the tenancy’.

(Question No 810)

Ms Le Couteur asked the Minister for Regulatory Services, upon notice, on 27 October 2017 (redirected to the Attorney-General):

(1) What restrictions are there on the subleasing of residences or parts of residences by residential tenants to third parties.

(2) Is the use of short-term subleasing services like AirBNB permissible in the ACT.

(3) What restrictions exist on short-term subleasing services in the ACT.

(4) Is the use of long-term private subleasing permissible in the ACT (for example, where a tenant on a 10 year lease needs to relocate for work for two years but wants to keep their home when they return).

(5) What restrictions exist on private subleasing in the ACT.

Mr Ramsay: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Standard Residential Tenancy Terms (Standard Terms) at schedule 1 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 provide that the tenant must not assign or sublet the premises (or any part of the premises) without the written consent of the lessor (Standard Terms, clause 23). The lessor and tenant may wish to apply for ACAT endorsement of an additional term for the lease that allows subletting.

Subletting without lessor permission is grounds for termination by the ACAT (Act, s 54).

(2) Yes

(3) The Residential Tenancies Act does not place any restrictions on short-term subleasing services in the ACT. However, services such as AirBNB would be bound by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The Government has not seen any immediate ACL concerns arising in the Canberra market.

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