Welcome to our blog. Staff at the Tenants' Union and occasional guests offer their commentary and analysis of our renting system. We hope to inform, educate and debate the legal, political and cultural aspects of this renting life. If you would like an official quote for media use, or have questions regarding official research, policy or publications please contact us. For more news see also our general news page and for factsheets and sample letters see Tenancy info.


Vale John Mant – supporter of TAAS

24/07/2021
John Mant
VALE JOHN MANT, 1936-2021: The tenants of New South Wales owe a big thankyou to John Mant who died on 10 July, aged 84. He left a legacy still in the making, especially in the field of urban planning. He also made a big contribution to the creation and ongoing support for tenants advice and advocacy services in NSW
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Lockdown safety net: our analysis

19/07/2021
Lockdown safety net: our analysis
This week NSW heads into a tougher lockdown. For many renting households, especially renters who are casual workers, this is going to have a significant impact on their income and ability to make rent and cover other essentials. In this blog, we run through in more detail the support package for renting households that was announced last week.
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Call for systemic change amid Northern Rivers housing crisis

06/07/2021
Sally
The Northern Rivers region is beset by soaring rental prices, social housing issues, a crisis of housing instability and homelessness. In this article Sally Latter, Coordinator of the Northern Rivers Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, shows why it's time to end no-grounds evictions and transform the housing system.
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Fees to pay rent? Third party rent payment services: an explainer

05/07/2021
flying paper money
There’s been a little bit of buzz lately around third party rent payment services, especially across social media. So, what exactly are these services, and are they a good idea?

Third party rent payment services (3PRPS) are services that will take money out of your bank account and put it in your rent account at the real estate agency. Many of you are probably familiar with these services – I know I’ve used them myself in quite a few of the rentals I’ve lived in. These services can be helpful for some renters, for a variety of reasons, but we know there are significant drawbacks.
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Renters deserve warm homes in winter

17/06/2021
Cold homes make people sick (text) red lettering on grey and purple graphic background
Like many Sydneysiders who rent, I live in an apartment that, in winter, is perpetually flippin’ freezing. Here in NSW, property investors aren't required to implement basic measures that would make a rented home healthy to live in. This is seriously impacting the health and wellbeing of renters. Too many renting people are freezing at home in winter, then sweltering in summer. We're forced to waste energy and money trying to stay healthy and comfortable. I don't think that's good enough: everyone needs a home that is livable and healthy in a summer heatwave or a cold winter, with affordable energy bills.
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TICA charging you for access? No more!

11/06/2021
Have you paid to access your info on a tenant database or blacklist? On 23 March 2020 this became unlawful. Access must be free.
Did you know it is unlawful for tenant databases to charge you for access to the information they hold on you? If you have paid for access to a tenant database in the last year, read this!
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What you need to know about rent bidding

01/06/2021
Auctioneer's hammer - graphic representation
Rent bidding happens when there’s a shortage of available rental properties, so prospective tenants make an offer to pay rent above the advertised price in order to secure a property. Now, we don’t blame renters for this. Right now, a rental crisis continues to unfold across much of regional NSW.  With so few properties available to rent, there are dozens if not hundreds of applicants for every property, and renters are becoming desperate to find a home. We are seeing a rise in agents and landlords taking this opportunity to actively solicit rent bidding to maximize income and exploit desperate tenants, which we think is unethical and unlawful.
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No home left behind!

24/05/2021
Range of different boarding houses and pics of residents in photo frames
In this op-ed piece, Leo Patterson Ross asks what is missing from our approach to regulation of boarding houses? What would it look like if we started the conversation about reform by identifying housing need? Originally published in Council to Homeless Persons' publication Parity.
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A long, winding road: NSW boarding house reform

21/05/2021
Long road, stretches to horizon. Australian bush on side of road.
In the context of plans for a new Shared Accommodation Act to replace the existing Boarding House Act 2012, Jemima Mowbray provides a short history of the long road towards ensuring better protections for all people who rent their homes, whether they live in boarding houses, shared accommodation or lodgings, or other renting arrangements.
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How a volatile rental market could impact some of the most vulnerable in our communities 

10/05/2021
Advocate assisting a client in office
The past 12 months have had a significant impact on many tenants, particularly those who may be at risk of financial hardship or homelessness. Pamela Hunter, from VERTO’s Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service (TAAS) outlines some of the serious challenges facing renters, particularly in regional areas where a volatile housing market is wreaking havoc.
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