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NSW to revamp boarding house regulations

The NSW government says it will revamp sharehouse and boarding house regulations to install minimum notice periods and “fit for habitation” property requirements.

NSW Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson on Wednesday said the Boarding Houses Act 2012 would be redrafted to boost resident protections.

It comes after a statutory review of the Act this month made 21 recommendations including strengthening the rights of residents and addressing fire safety and overcrowding.

It also recommended the Act should be broadened and renamed to incorporate all types of accommodation in which kitchens, bathrooms or bedrooms are shared – such as co-living premises, student accommodation and private lodging.

The renamed Act – the Shared Accommodation Act – would standardise agreement forms, implement minimum “fit for habitation” property requirements, establish minimum notice periods for occupancy termination and limit fee hikes.

NSW Fair Trading will also be required to take on a greater role in resolving disputes.

“The Boarding Houses Act was a landmark piece of legislation when introduced in 2012. Our reforms will build on it to ensure the protections introduced for boarding house are improved and expanded to apply to the wider range of people who now live in shared accommodation,” Mr Anderson said in a statement.

“Whether it’s a student or someone getting back on their feet, thousands of people stay and live in shared accommodation each week and it’s time the legislation caught up to reflect the reality of 2020.”

The Act will also be redrafted to provide better support for boarding house residents with a disability, such as facilitating individualised support.

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