The formation of the Tasmanian Residential Rental Property Owners Association has filled an important gap in the Tasmanian tenancy landscape. Before our Association, rental owners – especially those who have not engaged the services of a professional property manager – were left to navigate the intricacies and tensions of a residential tenancy and rental ownership alone. This gap was obvious given around half of the 40,000 Tasmanian households that call a private rental home are self-managed by the owner.
Our Association, while only a year old, has come a long way in providing a supportive and informative service for owners and advocating for their fair rights. As our Association grows, so too does the opportunity to increase the support and services we can provide owners, with the goal of promoting compliant, fair and harmonious tenancies.
Over the past year it became clear that there is considerable opportunity to prevent and resolve costly and stressful issues in tenancies and landlord-tenant relationships by ensuring that owners are aware of and complying with relevant legislation, including the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 and the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998.
Recognising the potential to benefit to both owners and tenants through educating landlords about their obligations and supporting them with user-friendly resources, a helpful network and professional expertise, our Association wrote to the State Government requesting funding. Pleasingly, the State Government recently committed $100,000 over two years in funding which will enable us to:
develop an education program for landlords that includes:
an eLearning module covering the fundamentals of residential tenancies
an eLearning module that specifically targets owners who self-manage their property, focusing on detail highly relevant to them and
an eLearning module that both owners and tenants may complete which focuses on the two-way nature of both parties’ responsibilities
develop a comprehensive toolkit that includes both hardcopy and electronic templates and user guides to ensure that leases, notices and other documentation is appropriately issued and compliant
the development of an online compliance check tool where owners can input their situation and wishes and understand what their options are and how to progress next, in line with the relevant legislation. For example, the owner enters that they wish to raise the rent or sell the property, or the tenant is in rent arrears
provide owners with access to a legal Q&A type service
information sessions on a broad range of residential tenancy related topics, especially when changes in the tenancy landscape occur and
assist our Association with critical start up expenses.
Our focus is on prevention rather than cure.
This investment seeks to improve rates of compliance and help prevent and resolve issues before they put a tenancy at risk and before they absorb the Tenants Union of Tasmania, Residential Tenancy Commissioner or the court system’s finite resources.
Our efforts will also help ensure compliance is more straightforward for owners and promote harmonious owner-tenant relationships and happy and enduring tenancies – which are good for everyone.