Reforms to Tenancy and Occupancy Laws in 2022

The ACT Government is reforming and modernising Canberra’s residential tenancy laws so that they are clearer, fairer and deliver better outcomes. 

To date, the reform program has benefited from close consultation with stakeholders including tenancy advocates, landlords, businesses, real estate groups, crisis accommodation providers, residents of mobile home parks and universities.

Some important changes have been made recently including with respect to co-tenancies and occupancy agreements.

What are the new proposed changes to the Residential Tenancy laws?

The ACT Government is now considering options to further improve residential tenancy laws.

These are:

  • Ending no cause evictions
  • Restricting rent bidding
  • Allowing tenants greater freedom to grow their own food and compost
  • Setting clear minimum standard for rental properties.

Currently, landlords can evict a tenant on a periodic lease with six months’ notice without cause or reason to do so.  If no cause evictions are no longer allowed, tenants will be in a better position to assert their rights without fear of being evicted.  However, to enable landlords to manage their properties effectively, this change may mean there needs to be new ‘with cause’ grounds.

Currently, prospective tenants can offer or be asked to offer more than the advertised price for a rental property.  This practice is known as rent bidding.  There are varying views on whether this is acceptable, or unfair to prospective tenants.

The ACT Government is also considering whether renters’ rights to grow food and to compost food waste should be strengthened, and what conditions should be in place to protect landlords 

Lastly, the ACT Government is considering what minimum standards should be set to ensure that rental properties meet basic levels of safety, amenity and sanitation and how any minimum standards should be implemented.

How to have YourSay

The ACT Government invites feedback on the Public Exposure Draft of the Residential tenancies Legislation Amendment Bill 2022.

The Public Exposure Draft of the Bill is available on YourSay

Submissions and comments are open until 26 August 2022. 

The feedback to the Public Exposure Draft of the Bill will guide the ACT Government's approach to residential tenancy reforms. 

How you had YourSay 

Thank you to the Canberrans who provided feedback through YourSay on the questions set out in the Consultation Paper. Comments on the Consultation Paper closed on 15 October 2021.

A Listening Report on the feedback to the Consultation Paper has been prepared. Released on  27 April 2022, the Listening Report is available on YourSay.