Release date: 01/11/23

The Malinauskas Labor Government is acting decisively to address South Australia’s rental crisis with the most significant reforms to South Australia’s residential tenancy laws in a generation.

Today, we will introduce our landmark rental reforms to Parliament in a bid to improve security for tenants while balancing the rights of landlords. South Australia is facing a record low vacancy rate of less than 1 per cent.

The bill to amend the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 will, amongst other things:

* Introduce prescribed grounds to terminate or not renew a tenancy;

* Extend the notice period to end a tenancy from 28 days to 60 days;

* Allow tenants to have pets in rental homes with reasonable conditions;

* Protect tenants’ information;

* Ensure rental properties comply with minimum housing standards;

* Provide additional support for victims of domestic violence.

Under the reforms, landlords will only be able to end a periodic tenancy or to not renew a fixed term lease for a prescribed reason including breaches by the tenant, wanting to sell, renovate or occupy the property.

The Malinauskas Government will also increase the minimum notice to end a tenancy from 28 days to 60 days so tenants will have more time to secure a new home and make the necessary arrangements to move.

For the first time, tenants will be allowed to keep pets in rental properties in South Australia with reasonable conditions to be set by their landlord such as keeping the animal outside or having the carpets cleaned at the end of the tenancy.

The Government will support a new tenant advocacy service. The service will support tenants by:

* Educating and informing tenants;

* Advising and supporting tenants to resolve tenancy issues;

* Assisting tenants with completing tenancy forms or drafting tenancy related letters;

* Supporting tenants at tribunal hearings;

* Policy development and advocacy.

This suite of reforms follows the Government’s earlier moves to address rental affordability including banning rent bidding and raising the bond threshold, which has already saved tenants more than $11.5 million since being introduced in April.

The State Government has also made more people eligible for the Private Rental Assistance Scheme, which saves people on low-incomes thousands of dollars by avoiding the upfront costs including bond and rent in advance by providing bond guarantees and rent payments.

These measures are part of the Malinauskas Government's plan for A Better Housing Future, which also includes:

* Fast tracking the single largest release of residential land in the state’s history;

*Abolishing stamp duty for first home buyers on new homes valued up to $650,000 or vacant land up to $400,000 to build a new home;

*Fast tracking approvals for new homes in key areas;

* Delivering the first substantial increase to public housing in a generation – building an additional 564 public homes and stopping the sale of 580 others;

*Preparing around 700 additional affordable homes at Prospect, Bowden and Playford to be delivered under the National Housing Accord;

*Developing the former Adelaide Bus Station site on Franklin Street to deliver more than 130 social and affordable apartments;and the former West End Brewery site to see more than 1000 new homes incorporating at least 20 per cent affordable housing;

* Delivering new housing developments for key workers in regional South Australia through a new Office for Regional Housing in Renewal SA, and

* Preparing a new 2 per cent deposit home loan through HomeStart for first home buyers building a new home


Attributable to Peter Malinauskas

My Government is taking a nation-leading position in terms of addressing the housing crisis.

We’ve already delivered on significant reforms to make the system more affordable for renters.

This legislation will add extra protections, particularly for those who have pets, or who may find themselves being forced to end a tenancy, while at the same time safeguarding the rights of landlords.

We’re cutting taxes for first homeowners, releasing huge tracts of land for housing, making strategic purchases of brownfield sites to offer more affordable homes, turning around a generational decline in the number of public homes.

Attributable to Andrea Michaels

These are the biggest reforms to South Australia’s residential tenancy laws in a generation.

With a vacancy rate of less than one per cent in South Australia, South Australian tenants are facing unprecedented levels of housing insecurity with many tenants fearing becoming homeless.

The Malinauskas Government is seeking to provide tenants with additional security in their rental home while still protecting the rights of landlords.

We have consulted extensively with tenants, landlords and stakeholder groups and we believe that these reforms strike the right balance.

Attributable to Hon. Robert Simms MLC

These reforms will be transformative for many South Australians and provide welcome relief to renters in the middle of this housing crisis.

As a result of negotiations with the Government, the Greens have secured a commitment for funding for an independent organisation that will advocate for renters.

We are also now seeing an end to no-cause evictions in South Australia, changes that will make it easier for people to rent with pets and provisions that will make it easier for renters to break a lease if they are fleeing domestic violence.

These are long term policy priorities of the Greens and this modernisation of our residential tenancies act is long overdue.

Attributable to Andrea Heading, CEO REISA

REISA is pleased that the Government has introduced legislation into Parliament to modernise South Australia’s residential tenancy laws.

REISA has collaborated closely with the Government on these reforms and believes that a workable solution has been proposed, that protects the rights and interests of both landlords and tenants.