NSW Privacy - Landlord details (NSW Tenancy Agreements)

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Scott No Mates, 10th Mar, 2020.

Join Australia's most dynamic and respected property investment community
  1. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    20,353
    Location:
    Sydney or NSW or Australia
    I sat in on a OFT webinar this morning about the upcoming changes with regards to the licensing of agents, increasing professionalisation, higher standards, different licensing classifications, additional Continuing Professional Development etc which are coming into force from 23/3/20.

    A participant asked a question around privacy and whether the upcoming changes to tenancy agreements would be affected in any way where the tenant could be advised of the Lessor's details (the owner's details are often noted on the lease as "C/- XYZ agency").

    The convener responded that from 23/3/20, it will no longer be acceptable that the tenancy agreement not to provide a form of contact detail of the owner. He mentioned that this would most likely take the form of the owner's email address rather than their postal address or phone number.

    Note to owners - it will no longer be possible to hide behind the excuse that the PM didn't advise you of an issue with the property (or that you failed to take action) as the tenant will also have your email address and will probably use it if they are getting no response from the agent. This will impact negatively on those owners who shirk their responsibilities by giving the tenant additional evidence of raising an issue directly with the owner where action is warranted.
     
    MB18, balwoges, wylie and 1 other person like this.
  2. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    4,022
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Unusual proposal - I don't think it exists in other states. Is it a change to legislation? How would they enforce it?
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  3. Phar Lap

    Phar Lap Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    983
    Location:
    NSW
    All the more reason to self manage as power is taken away from agents like this.
     
    Elives likes this.
  4. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Property Manager Business Member

    Joined:
    17th Sep, 2018
    Posts:
    762
    Location:
    Brisbane
    No power is taken away from the Agent, if anything it makes the Lessor more accountable as they can't hide behind the Agent - generally the Agent isn't going to throw the Lessor (who is their Client) under the bus when the Lessor shirks their responsibilities such as attending to repairs & maintenance by simply not approving work or ignoring emails - it will be a different environment when the Tenant starts complaining direct to the Lessor.

    On the flip side if the Lessor/Agent are doing the right thing, and the only requirement is an email address for the Lessor, the Lessor can simply block the tenants correspondence or create a rule where it simply gets forwarded to the Agent so they're not continually getting bombarded with tenant correspondence.

    A lot of Lessors pay Agents to manage their properties because 1) time poor and 2) want a professional to handle it for them. My crystal ball says you may see a lot of "[email protected]" addresses pop up and mysteriously all replies will come from the Agent when the tenant tries to email the owner.
     
  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    10,119
    Location:
    Brisbane
    At least if the agent is not responding, this gives the owner an idea that something is wrong and owner can jump on the agent to get it sorted.
     
    The Gambler and Michael Mitchell like this.
  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    20,353
    Location:
    Sydney or NSW or Australia
    I take it that this is what it is directed at achieving, if the tenant is being fobbed off by the agent blaming the owner, this will cut through the BS.
     
  7. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,057
    Location:
    Brisbane
    We have one Owner told us at the beginning of the year (when we advised them of repairs required after the ChangeOver), they specifically instructed 'in caps" that "under no circumstance" we are to reveal their contact details to the Tenants.
    We were a bit flabbergasted as to what made them issuing such instruction.....
    Would love to see their face if this law is enforced on them.
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  8. CDC

    CDC Member

    Joined:
    4th Jul, 2020
    Posts:
    10
    Location:
    Teneriffe brisbane
    As an owner, I have issues with my agent making decisions etc without my knowledge. So long as it is an email address only, I would be in favour of this of tenants having this contact.
     
    Scott No Mates likes this.
  9. Mat

    Mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23rd Jun, 2016
    Posts:
    140
    Location:
    QLD
    I would say you actually could do neither of those things. The legislation creates an obligation to provide contact details for the lessor to the tenant, and providing non-functional contact details such as an email for which correspondence is ignored or forwarded to another party would not meet your obligation to provide contact details.

    Lessor name and address for service is also an obligation under Queensland's Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accomodation Regulation, Schedule 1, Part 1; Victoria's Residential Tenancies Regulation, Schedule 1; Western Australia's Residential Tenancies Act, section 51; South Australia's Residential Tenancies Act, section 48(1)(b); Northern Territory's Residential Tenancies Act, Section 19(1)(b); and the ACT's Residential Tenancies Act, section 12(3).

    Tasmania is the only state that permits the tenancy agreement to not have the lessor's contact details on it where there is an agent. South Australia outright specifies that the lessor's address for service must not be the same as that of their Agent.

    New South Wales' legislation referenced above sounds like a modernisation to let that address for service be electronic - the standard form agreement and section 27(1)(a) of the Act unlike in other states specifies "or other contact details"
     
    Last edited: 5th Jul, 2020
  10. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    4,022
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Yeah all those scenarios are obviously different because the REA contact would be enough. Only the SA one is kind of similar.
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  11. Mat

    Mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23rd Jun, 2016
    Posts:
    140
    Location:
    QLD
    I don't agree. In all cases, the legislation details that the name and address for service for both the lessor and agent is required. If the REA contact was enough, they would not require an address for service for both entities.
     
  12. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    4,022
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Are you just making this up? For example, read the WA legislation you just cited.

    RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 1987 - SECT 51

    (2) If residential premises that are the subject of a residential tenancy agreement are managed by a property manager, the lessor and the property manager must, at the time of entering into the agreement, notify the tenant, or cause the tenant to be notified, in writing of —

    (a) the full name of the lessor; and

    (b) the full name and address of the property manager.


    It's pretty clear its not addresses for both now isn't it?
     
    craigc and Michael Mitchell like this.
  13. Mat

    Mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23rd Jun, 2016
    Posts:
    140
    Location:
    QLD
    Apologies, I missed the "unless subsection 2 applies", which means WA joins Tasmania in only requiring one of the two. All other states differ in that their standard form agreements and/or regulations require both addresses.
     
  14. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    20,353
    Location:
    Sydney or NSW or Australia
    NSW requires an address or email address for their lessor, If privacy is a concern an email address can be used.
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  15. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21st Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,928
    Location:
    No Mans Land
    Hard to see what the problem is.

    Advise the agent that the contact email address is <Your Property Address Without Suburb>@gmail.com , and just check it, for example, at the beginning of each week or month...
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.