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Owning a substandard property
Property owners must ensure that their property is properly maintained, safe and suitable for people to live in. They can be fined if they don’t:
- comply with an order or notice
- charge within the rent control limit
- notify a purchaser or potential tenant that a property is subject to an order or notice
- include correct details relating to the order or notice in all advertising, signage and statements for the property
- provide correct information and receipts for rent received.
An owner can’t end a lease and evict a tenant within six months of the property being inspected unless they make an application for eviction through the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).
Any person can request and pay for a copy of any part of the register. The fees are prescribed in the Housing Improvement (Fees) Regulations 2018.
Purchasing a property
The owner or agent must provide you with a Property Interest Report that includes details of any order on the property and the maximum weekly rent that can be charged.
Potential purchasers can search Substandard Property Register to find properties subject to an order or notice.
It’s a good idea to get an independent building inspection of any property prior to purchase.
A rent control notice, housing improvement or assessment order doesn’t prevent you from living in or renting the property however it can’t be occupied if it is subject to a notice to vacate or housing demolition order.
Reviewing a decision
An owner can apply to have an Order or Notice reviewed by SACAT within 28 days of issue.
If the review is allowed, the order may be confirmed, revised or removed.
If the decision is confirmed the owner must comply with the original decision.
A rent control amount may be revised if an authorised officer inspects the property and finds that:
- improvements have been made to the property as instructed on the Housing Improvement Order
- the condition of the property is worse and the rent should be further reduced
- the owner has successfully appealed the rent control amount through SACAT
- market rents for the area have changed.
Removing rent control
The rent control notice can be removed if all the conditions in the housing improvement order are met and the property is declared safe and suitable.
You may request a re-inspection by the Housing Safety Authority. The property must be inspected to verify the condition has improved and complies with regulations. There is no cost for an inspection to be carried out.
Within 60 days of the rent control notice being removed, you must give the tenant at least 14 days’ notice before increasing the rent.
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