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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5357
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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I am currently leasing a rental property in nsw where the

Customer Question

I am currently leasing a rental property in nsw where the landlord/agent have already inspected the property on 6 occasions within a 6 month period with our consent. They have a DA application in with local council to renovate the property. We do not wish them to inspect the property any further as it is impinging on our rights to enjoy the property peacefully. My understanding under the tenancy act is they can only have up to 4 inspections a year. They have now said the council is now legally able to inspect the property dor purpose of their DA application without our consent even though they have exceeding the 4 allowed inspections for the year? Is this correct? I guess the question is does the local govt act take right over the tenancy act rules to protect tenants rights? Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

Although landlords have limited rights to inspect, council has it's own rights to inspect premises for the purpose of its regulatory functions which are quite separate from the landlords rights. Whether this includes inspections for the purposes of a DA I'm not sure off the top of my head, but I will get back to you shortly on that point.

Patrick

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Patrick. My reading of nsw local govt act section 200 (b) reads they can inspect under work being carried out under an approval. My question further is does this mean only once a DA application has actually been APPROVED versus it is still only in the application process?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The act also refers to inspecting work that has been carried out - there has been no work commenced unless they consider drawing plans as work to be inspected.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Patrick I have done some more research and it looks like they are referring to a more specific act the environmental and assessment act 1979 sect 119d. I need 2) c and d to be interpreted further please in terms of what is a consent, approval or certificate under the act and what is a building certificate. Thanks
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

A review of the particular sections indicates that particular power of inspection applies where there is building work in question or in respect of a building certificate application, which usually arises at the end of the building process. It does not apply in relation to the granting of a development application.

In short, the power granted under Section 119 (2) does not appear to apply to your situation and accordingly, council need to cite some other power of investigation before you should consider yourself obliged to comply.

That said, it is not always wise to stand on your rights too aggressively or else you may find yourself in legal disputation with council, which can be expensive and there is always a risk that some judicial officer will side with council if they feel you are being unreasonable in your refusal to cooperate. With that in mind, I suggest you point out that the provision does not appear to apply, but agree to allow them access at a time and place that suits you, rather than them. If they feel they are on uncertain legal ground they may well just work with you to avoid a dispute they may not win. This way you can minimise any further inconvenience, but avoid the risk of getting into an expensive legal dispute, which even if you win, may cost you a considerable amount of money.

I trust the above assists.

Good luck and please rate my answer.

Patrick