Minister for Fair Trading Stuart Ayres is calling on all university and TAFE students moving into rental accommodation for the first time to study up on their rights and responsibilities under NSW residential tenancy laws.
“It is disappointing to see the number of complaints lodged with NSW Fair Trading relating to tenancy in 2013 have risen on the previous year’s figures,” Mr Ayres said.
“Conflict and confusion at the beginning or end of a tenancy can usually be avoided when tenants, landlords and property managing agents all have a thorough knowledge of each party’s rights and responsibilities.”
Mr Ayres said Fair Trading received 862 complaints in relation to tenancy issues in 2013, compared to 772 in 2012.
The most common issue causing complaint related to disputes over repairs and maintenance (with 121 complaints) followed closely by bond refunds (115 complaints).
The non-lodgement of rental bonds (104 complaints), dissatisfactory service by property managers (49 complaints) and unspecified unsatisfactory conduct on the part of any party (38 complaints) completed the top five list of most common tenancy gripes.
“Fair Trading has a wealth of information and advice for people renting in houses, strata buildings and residential parks on its website at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au,” Mr Ayres said.
“The fact sheets for tenants and landlords, which include advice on taking a bond, tenancy databases and discrimination when renting, are valuable resources for any young person about to enter their first tenancy agreement.”
“Young people can also contact Fair Trading over issues relating to property management agreements and problems with real estate agents on 9895 0297 or toll free on 1800 625 963.
“Additionally, there is a dedicated Aboriginal tenancy information toll free number, 1800 500 330.
Mr Ayres said Fair Trading had an excellent track record in mediating tenancy disagreements.
“With effective dispute resolution as a safety net, young tenants in NSW can usually have their grievances attended to without recourse to costly legal action,” he said.
NSW Government funding for 2013 to 2016 of the Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Program is over $9.3
million per annum.
“Over 30,000 tenants are assisted by services funded under this program every year,” Mr Ayres said.