The ACT Government has released a new Renting Book to help tenants understand rental laws and their rights in the ACT's rental system.
“Everyone deserves a safe and secure place to live,” Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said. “Almost a third of Canberrans rent, so we want to ensure that all renters in the ACT are aware of their rights.
“The Renting Book is a great resource for tenants and contains lots of useful, updated and accessible information including content on the range of changes that have been made to improve residential tenancy laws over the past few years.
“It will be a useful resource to tenants, including those moving to Canberra at the beginning of the year for study or work. The book will also help landlords and real estate agents to make sure that properties are managed appropriately and in accordance with the law.”
Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, landlords are required to provide a copy of the Renting Book to tenants or advise where they can get a copy before the commencement of their tenancy.
Given significant legislative changes and a desire to make the Renting Book more accessible, Attorney-General Rattenbury said it was important for the Renting Book to be updated.
“While the information in the Renting Book covers the main issues that may arise before, during and after a tenancy, it is a guide only and I would encourage all tenants to always read their tenancy agreement closely and seek legal advice if unsure about their rights or responsibilities,” Attorney-General Rattenbury said.
For tenants, landlords and occupants that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACT Government has put in place a range of measures to help them. However, as these are temporary changes, they are not covered in the Renting Book.
The ACT Government will prepare a further update of the Renting Book in the coming months which incorporates changes due to come into effect in March.
The Renting Book and more information about the COVID-19 emergency measures put in place can be found at https://justice.act.gov.au/renting-book
Tenants can also seek free legal advice from the Tenants Advice Service, run by Legal Aid ACT, by phoning 1300 402 512 or visiting https://www.legalaidact.org.au/tasact.