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Government looking to modernise SA’s residential tenancies laws

Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs looks to improve availability and affordability for South Australian renters in stakeholder forum today.

Rental security for tenants, dispute resolution and renting with pets are among issues to be discussed at a stakeholder forum today on residential tenancy laws.

Chaired by Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs Andrea Michaels and Commissioner Dini Soulio, the forum will also discuss rental increases, water billing and rooming house regulations.

“We are currently facing a housing crisis. While the current crisis is largely an issue of supply, I am looking to use the levers at my disposal to improve availability and affordability for South Australian renters,” says Minister Michaels.

“I am bringing together stakeholders who represent both tenants and landlord, so that we can have a frank and open discussion about how we can ease pressure for all involved.”

The forum, which will review the Residential Tenancies Act, will be attended by stakeholders, including: Shelter SA, the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA), the Landlords’ Association, Uniting Communities, St Vincent de Paul, SACOSS and the University of Adelaide.

Attending government agencies and bodies include Consumer and Business Services, the Department for Human Services, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which oversees disputes between tenants and landlords.

Representatives of Shelter SA and REISA have confirmed the need for residential tenancy law modernisation.

“I’m very pleased that the government of the day is leading this review,” says Executive Director of Shelter SA, Dr Alice Clark.

“Shelter SA has been working hard behind the scenes to establish areas of consensus and assist the Minister by bringing a balanced view of the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords to the table.

“Following improvements in other Australian jurisdictions, Shelter SA welcomes the modernisation of our renting legislation.”

“REISA is excited to be working collaboratively with Minister Michaels, the Commissioner and other key stakeholders to help develop important reform to the Residential Tenancies Act for landlords, tenants and property management professionals,” says Acting Chief Executive of REISA, Cain Cooke.

“We believe the best outcomes are achieved through positive, pragmatic collaboration and consultation and we applaud the Minister for taking this approach to bring us together to commence the review.”

Minister Michaels says the forum is an important step in ensuring South Australia’s residential tenancies laws are modern, and balance the interests of both tenants and landlords.

“The current rental shortage highlights the need for contemporary, effective residential tenancies laws,” says Minister Michaels.

“We want to see more landlords in the system without sacrificing the rights of tenants, with a stronger framework that ensures there are safeguards for both tenants and landlords, while making residential properties an attractive form of investment.

“Ensuring landlords, the property sector, government and groups representing vulnerable tenants are all at the table will help us discuss the issues frankly and look at ways we can make improvements.”

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