Where are we at with ending ‘no grounds’ evictions? An update

Jemima Mowbray • 04/06/2024

For many years now we've been seeking changes to give renters greater security. Renters in NSW currently live with chronic uncertainty and insecurity in their housing. Eviction provisions allowing landlords to evict a tenant for no reason (‘no grounds’ evictions) are particularly problematic. For our recent report, A Constant Worry, renters told us about the impact of ‘no grounds’ evictions, sharing the significant financial strain and emotional distress they experience when forced to move. 

Ending ‘no grounds’ evictions is a priority area of reform - something we’ve told the NSW Government needs to be addressed urgently. Every year 30,000 renting households are evicted without being provided with a reason - that is 3 ‘no grounds’ evictions served each hour, every day. But it is not only those renters who receive a ‘no grounds’ eviction who are impacted. The threat of receiving a no ground eviction is felt by all renters, at all times, and dampens their ability to assert even basic tenancy rights. 

Recent news on the reform front

Jenny Leong, Housing Spokesperson for the NSW Greens last November introduced a bill to ban "no-grounds" evictions (Residential Tenancies Amendment (Prohibiting No Grounds Evictions) Bill 2024). On the 16th May, after debate on the Parliament floor, the Bill was referred to a Select Committee for inquiry and report. The Committee consists of five members: Jenny Leong, Chair and crossbench member, three government members - Donna Davis, Clayton Barr, Trish Doyle, and Tim James as Committee member from the opposition.

The Committee’s terms of reference:

(1) The Bill be referred forthwith to a Select Committee for consideration and report, for the purpose of inquiring and seeking public input into:

      (a) The provisions of the Bill, with particular reference to:

            (i) The grounds for which an eviction is reasonable.

            (ii) The appropriateness of evidence requirements to support reasonable grounds or a penalty scheme 
            for those who falsely claim a reasonable ground; and

            (iii) Any unintended consequences, including on housing affordability and availability, for renters and

      (b) A jurisdictional comparison of no grounds evictions policies.

The Committee must report back by September 20, 2024. It is unlikely we will see the NSW Government introduce their own rental reform bill addressing ‘no grounds’ evictions until the Committee has tabled its report and recommendations.  

You can share your experience and input on the Bill with the Committee through the survey below