Real Estate Agent Claiming I Need to Sign a New Lease?

Hey Folks,

So I signed a 12 month lease for a property about a week or so ago with the lease commencing next week. Lease was confirmed as signed by all parties, and payments have been made (first month rent and bond).

Now, the real estate agent has called me this week to say that they need to cancel the old lease and we need to setup a new one, he's citing the change of tenancy laws as the reason, and mentioned that they'd be putting more clauses in with regards to minimum standards.

Now the first thought here is, the lease has been signed already, and money paid, they can't do shit.

However if there's nothing bad added to the contract I can't really see a reason not to do it, as it might just start the relationship on a bad footing.

But say I did refuse to sign, could they refuse to hand me the keys to the place?

Property is located in Victoria.

Comments

  • +20 votes

    Just ask for a copy of the new lease and compare side by side. If it is entirely due to change in tenancy laws, the new lease may be to your advantage.

  • +2 votes

    A call to the Tenants Union might help with finding out what the agent could do.

    However, as you say, if the new lease is not detrimental to you in any way, why would you dig your heels in?

  • +2 votes

    It might they made a mistake. If you're in VIC and the lease starts after 28 March they are supposed to use the new lease which is more advantageous to tenants.

  •  

    Try here, OP:

    https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting/changes-to-r...

    The URL says July 2020 but the body of the website says end of March

  • +1 vote

    It sounds like the old lease might be illegal, so they want to cover themselves with the new contract. Or say you agree that the law may not apply.

    Can you compare and let us armchair lawyers know about the extra paragraphs?

  • +1 vote

    New lease has more protections for you… should probably sign it

    As a landlord there have been a lot of changes re minimum standards (electrical safety etc)
    So its most likley to do with this
    All my tenants got ammendums to their leases regarding these changes over the last few weeks

    (This is based on Vic, my NSW property and WA property had no changes needed)

    •  

      OP was talking about a replacement not an amendment.

      •  

        His lease is new, he only just signed it it makes complete sense to simply replace the lease rather than amend it… the lease does not come into affect until the commencement date, if OP has not moved in yet then the lease has not technically kicked in.

        •  

          I get that but the difference here is that your tenants get to see the amendments before signing whereas OP doesn't.

  • +3 votes

    Engage a contract QC to review the 2 contracts and proceed from there. Don't risk it for the biscuit.

    •  

      Haha, a QC for a rental contract which will ultimately be in favor of the tenant. Ok buddy

      •  

        As per your username

        Wooooooooosh

  • +2 votes

    Why is your default position that do you want to not sign the new contract?

    They clearly explained why they want you to sign it, and minimum standards should be to your advantage. If you're worried, as others have suggested just compare the two side by side and then if there's anything which makes you come out worse in the new lease you can go from there.

  • +2 votes

    if new contract is in your favour sign it
    else do not sign it

  •  

    Just say you cant sign anything without reading it

    • -1 vote

      Goes without saying.

      •  

        I would say it anyway