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Moore, Clover to the Minister for Fair Trading, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteering

Given the 2007 Land and Environment Court determination that there is a fundamental incompatibility between a mix of residential and serviced apartments that share the same floor and access points due to the difference in behaviour, living and activity patterns between short-term and long-term occupants:

  1. What consideration has the NSW Government given to the following measures to prevent overcrowding and short-term occupancy in residential apartment blocks:
    1. Restricting the number of adults on residential tenancy agreements to two adults per bedroom, with the maximum number of adults allowed equal to two times the number of bedrooms?
    2. Banning residential tenancy sub-leases?
    3. Setting minimum residential tenancy leases to three months?
  2. What other measures are being considered by the NSW Government to reduce short-termā„service apartment occupants letting apartments in residential blocks?
Answer -

The Office of Fair Trading advises me that:

  1. (a) to (c) The Residential Tenancies Act 1987 is currently being reviewed. This review is examining many matters, including the issues around short and long term accommodation and the duration of leases.
  2. Changes have already been made to the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2005. These changes amended the model by-laws for strata schemes so that owners must comply with all relevant laws, including planning requirements. This means that owners or occupiers must ensure that a strata residence or apartment is not used for any purpose that is prohibited by law. In addition, a residence or apartment cannot be occupied by more persons than is allowed by law. Limits on occupancy and usage of dwellings are not regulated under Fair Trading legislation, but fall under the relevant planning laws.
    Real estate agents are generally responsible for arranging leases of strata dwellings or apartments, and are licensed under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002. The Office of Fair Trading would examine any improper or questionable actions undertaken by a real estate agent, including actions that would be in breach of the consumer protection provisions of that Act or the strata or tenancy legislation. Penalties for breaching the legislation include a range of disciplinary actions from a reprimand to cancellation of a licence and disqualification from involvement in a real estate business.
Question asked on 5 March 2008 (session 54-1) and printed in Questions & Answers Paper No. 50
Answer received on 8 April 2008 and printed in Questions & Answers Paper No. 57