The proposed Rental Housing Amendment Bill has significant improvements to assist landlords and, likewise, tenants. Among the various amendments, are the following noteworthy changes:
- Leases are to be put in writing. The onus will be on the landlord to do so.
- The addition of certain rights and obligations for both tenants and landlords.
- The right to request written receipts that include dates, address or description of the property to which they relate, whether for rental or arrear rental or deposit payment or otherwise, and also stipulate for which period payment is made and received.
- The right to request written proof of interest accrued on the deposit paid.
- The right to privacy, which includes the right not to have the property searched or seized without a ruling by a court or tribunal.
- The right not to have communications infringed.
- Costs not included in the lease agreement can only be deducted upon proof of such expenditure.
- Consent to sub-let may not be unreasonably withheld.
- The deposit received from a tenant is to be invested in an interest bearing account with a financial institution at an interest rate not less than that on a savings account.
- Various time frames have been set out that must be adhered to by the landlord relating to inspection of a property and/or refunding of deposits.