Central West real estate agents have welcomed the NSW Government decision to allow tenants to transfer their existing rental bonds from one lease to another.
Minister for Better Regulation, Matt Kean, said renting families will only have to lodge one bond after the changes to the tenancy laws in the state last week.
“The new rental bond rollover system is a big win for tenants throughout NSW and we’re expecting to see it potentially benefit up to 300,000 new tenancies annually,” Mr Kean said.
“Having to fork out thousands of dollars for a new bond while waiting for the other to be released causes significant financial stress for families.”
The NSW Government expects the rental bond rollover process to save $35 million over 10 years.
Ray White Orange principal, Libby Seaman, said the non-transfer of bonds had been a problem for many people.
“We used to do [transferring of bonds] some years ago, and stopped because of legal issues and damaged properties,” Ms Seaman said.
“Now this has come again and it applies only when a tenant leaves with no outstanding dues.”
Ms Seaman said the changes will make it easier for tenants to relocate.
“It does make it easier for those leaving a property and having to pay two to three thousand dollars in a bond and rent in advance,” she said.
“This will give them freedom providing they are leaving the property without any damage.”
Ms Seaman said she is expecting more changes to the tenancy laws, including allowing tenants to hang paintings and keep pets on a property.
“We are taking away the ownership of most of the property from a landlord to a tenant,” she said.
“Tenants certainly have a lot more freedom to do things now than the past.
“It is good to say tenants should be allowed to put pictures up, but it is not clear on how they should be allowed to put up a picture, like whether they should be allowed to do it professionally or bang a nail badly into the wall and damage it.”
Ms Seaman said such things should only be allowed following a landlord’s permission.
Bob Berry, a Dubbo-based veteran real estate agent, said the rental bond rollover process is a practical move, providing tenants have an entitlement to a full-bond refund from the property they are vacating.
“There are certain circumstances, whereby the owner is entitled to claim a part or whole of the bond,” Mr Berry said.
“That is only in the minority of the cases, but it is a reality.
“Tenants need to ensure that they comply with the tenancy agreement and there is no damage or cleaning required.”
Mr Berry said the idea is to take a little bit of pressure off the tenants when they are moving to a different city.