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Deferred Commencement: Residential Tenancies Act

Office of the Chief Minister

The commencement of the Residential Tenancies Act will be deferred to allow for further legislative changes that may be required in line with the local and national responses to COVID-19. 

The bill, which was debated and passed in February will not commence while the Northern Territory focuses on its response to COVID-19.

The Residential Tenancies Act 2019 is one of the pieces of legislation which will require further amendment to accommodate the Commonwealth’s proposed initiatives.  

In line with outcomes of National Cabinet discussions the Territory Labor Government is working on further legislative amendments to:

  • Create longer negotiation periods between tenants and landlords; and
  • Create fairer terms for new leases for demonstrated hardship due to COVID-19.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General, Natasha Fyles:

“We have said we will do whatever we can to ensure we save lives, save jobs and help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Territorians.

“Our decision to defer the commencement of Residential Tenancies Act 2019 allows us to accommodate the COVID-19 public health emergency provisions in these unprecedented times, all while ensuring our local legislation needs are met.

“It makes sense to postpone the start of a Bill that will require more change to protect and provide certainty for Territorians.”

Media contact: Hannah West 0436 641 108