The review of the NT Residential Tenancy Act has finally been initiated with a discussion paper recently released by the Northern Territory Government. While we acknowledge the government progressing this much needed area of reform, the process has been rushed, the consultations superficial and the tough issues dodged.
The paper rehashes an old 2010 review and falls far short of the comprehensive review promised. It fails to address the shift to rental housing and the crisis in housing affordability that has dominated the political agenda for the last few years. More than 50% of people in the NT rent their homes, however NT law lags way behind those in other states and territories. The lack of security, fairness and certainty disadvantages Northern Territory residents and potentially discourages new residents.
We still remain optimistic that the government will deliver on their promise and ensure there is a real process of consultation in the coming months and a commitment to a review of the Act to ensure it is relevant and reflects best practice.
The Tenancy Advice Service (TAS) has provided a comprehensive submission despite a restricted consultation time of less than a month. The submission can be found here:DCLS Response to Discussion Paper - Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1999