Welcome to the blog of the Tenants' Union of NSW. 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. If you're looking for factsheets and sample letters, please see Tenancy Info.

A new approach to mortgagee repossessions

monopoly board game with car playing piece on the 'go to jail' square.
Over the mid-2000s we saw mortgagee repossessions causing all sorts of issues for tenants. It ultimately lead to some pretty decent reforms. However, it may be time to rethink the response to repossessions in a falling property market.
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International students, COVID-19 and housing

people boarding a plane at sunrise
We know that more than half of international students organise their accommodation before coming to Australia. And many of those caught up in the travel ban due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 are returning to courses that they have already commenced. They are likely to have existing accommodation arrangements. What should students do if they are affected?
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Renting research revisited - Part 2

A row of houses with "to let" signs out the front
Tenant advocates have lead the research into tenancy in NSW for many years. In this second of a series, Robert Mowbray looks back on two of his contributions and what we can learn from them today.
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Renting research revisited - Part 1

The sky is visible through a roof in disrepair
Tenant advocates have lead the research into tenancy in NSW for many years. Robert Mowbray looks back on two of his contributions and what we can learn from them today.
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Getting your rented home bushfire ready

house
Guest blogger Hayley Stone, co-ordinator of the Eastern Area Tenants' Service and volunteer with the Rural Fire Service in the Blue Mountains, gives us some general guidance on getting your rental property prepared for bushfires.
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Antisocial antisocial behaviour management

hoodie reading 'anti anti social club'
Last Friday we made our submission to the statutory review of two sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 that require mandatory eviction in social housing for a number of antisocial behaviours, and short eviction times for all social housing tenants.
We recommend a shift in approach. If you want to 'create better, safer communities' scrap the strikes and start investing in communities with a real increase in the resourcing of community based supports and programs that build connection, resilience and capacity for individuals and their communities.
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Balancing tenure security and mobility for productivity

Google earth image of Sydney including public housing, private housing and commercial buildings
Yesterday we submitted our thoughts in response to the NSW Productivity Commission discussion paper "Kickstarting the productivity conversation". We recommended a shift to land tax, for a more reliable property tax system that encourages better land use, and exploration of a different way to encourage meaningful supply with positive outcomes.
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NSW changes to tenancy law - progress update

Australia on a globe
There have been a number of developments in tenancy across Australia recently, and NSW is coming close to implementation of the amendments from 2018. Before we look at the update to NSW, here's the latest from around Australia and New Zealand.
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What you need to know about: Bond Loans

A computer, a phone and a pad of paper
You've found a new place to move to after getting a no grounds notice and you're pretty confident that you'll get your bond back on the current place. But you've been stung by unfounded claims from agents before and you're a bit short on cash since knocking back a couple of shifts to go to inspections. You can't hit up Mum and Dad again to spot you again so soon - and you saw advertisements for bond loans on a few of the ads. Are they a good idea?
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Looking to rent a home? 6 things that will help or hinder you

Two women talking. One is a real estate agent, the other is a prospective tenant.
Two-thirds of tenants in Australia rent through a real estate agent. A national shortage of private rental housing forces these tenants to impress the real estate agent to secure a property. The ability to make a good impression on the agent, however, is largely based on a variety of factors that place some tenants at a disadvantage.
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