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It’s been a long time coming but proposed changes surrounding the Residential Tenancies Act have finally come to fruition and are effective from Monday 3rd July 2017!
The changes relate to Electronic Service of Notices, Abandoned Goods, Notice of Proposed Entry and Changes to the Magistrates Court process.
The Property Industries Update is as follows:
Residential Tenancies Act 1987:
The amended tenancy agreements and forms mentioned below will be available from the Department’s website and must be used from 3 July 2017 onwards. You should destroy any unused physical copies and replace any saved electronic versions of these amended documents.
Changes to Form 1AA Residential Tenancy Agreement, Information Sheets and Form 1C:
· Form 1AA the prescribed tenancy agreement will no longer need a witness signature. This will allow a lessor/property manager /tenant to sign and send the Form 1AA electronically pursuant to the Electronic Transactions Act 2011.
· The information sheets Form 1AC and Form 1AD that must be provided to tenants at the start of a tenancy have been amended.
· Form 1C – Notice of Termination has been amended.
Notice of Proposed Entry to Premises (Form 19):
There are a number of circumstances in which a lessor may enter the premises. For certain types of proposed entry, notice must be given in writing. From 3 July 2017 onwards, you must use Form 19 – Notice of proposed entry to premises for these circumstances (the types are listed on the form).
You will now be able to issue the notice without first having to make a reasonable attempt to negotiate a day and time for entry.
The form includes information about the tenant’s right to negotiate a more suitable time if the time is unduly inconvenient, and the obligation of the lessor to make a reasonable effort to negotiate a more suitable time.
There are changes on how abandoned goods notices can be given to a tenant.
Form 2 – Notice to Former Tenant as to Disposal of Goods and Form 3 – Notice as to Disposal of Goods have been amended to allow for the inclusion of email addresses.
Previously, where a lessor was storing goods abandoned by a tenant, within seven days of storing the goods the lessor had to complete Form 2 and send it to the tenant’s forwarding address if provided, and complete Form 3 and publish it in a newspaper circulated throughout the state.
From 3 July 2017, you may only have to complete Form 2 and provide it to the tenant within seven days of storing the goods. You only have to complete Form 2 if:
· you can give the notice to the former tenant in person; or
· mail it to a forwarding address they have provided; or
· send it via electronic means, if they consent to this method.
However, if their address is unknown and you are unable to provide notice of abandoned goods via these means, you must complete Form 3, publish it in a newspaper circulated throughout the state within seven days and post it in a prominent position at the abandoned premises within nine days. You do not need to complete Form 2.
Electronic Serving of Notices:
It is now expressly stated that any notice or document required or authorised to be given may be done so by electronic means, such as email.
To be able to serve notice effectively by electronic means, agreement to do so should be stated in the tenancy agreement, neither party should have withdrawn consent, and at the time the notice/document is issued it should be reasonable to expect that the information will be accessible and available at a later date.
Changes to the Magistrates Court Process:
The Magistrate’s Court will no longer publish notices about court applications in the newspaper. All court notices will be published on a website maintained by the Magistrates Court.
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