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.


In/formal housing – is more formality the answer?

2019-05-30
Leo Patterson Ross at the Housing Theory Symposium
This is the text of an address given by Senior Policy Officer Leo Patterson Ross to the Housing Theory Symposium 2019. Leo argues that "Like water, if we do not get the supply of housing right, it will get to people in uncontrolled ways, providing too much to some and preventing others from getting enough. Along the way, some of it might get tainted and become unhealthy, unsafe. There will always be luxury water, sold in little bottles. But if we ensure cheap tap water continues to flow then those who need it will never go thirsty."
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Negative gearing is still not your friend

2019-05-10
Balacava - negative gearing is not your friend
Negative gearing remains a major issue for tenants - we've written more than 50 articles about it! This article has been one of the most widely read over the last few years, and now we've updated the data. In summary: negative gearing does not cause an individual landlord to charge less rent; negative gearing does not create net additional rental housing; negative gearing has contributed to more higher-income households renting; negative gearing has contributed to low-value properties dropping out of the rental market.
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Theresa May shows Gladys the way on eviction reform

2019-04-26
Theresa May shows Gladys the way on eviction reform
Theresa May’s government in the UK has shown that supporting a fairer, balanced renting system is possible for conservative governments. Last week May and Housing Minister James Brokenshire announced that legislation was to be written to end unfair ‘no grounds’ evictions. Landlords will no longer be able to end tenancies either at the end of a fixed-term or outside a contract period without giving any reason at all. Instead, there will be a list of reasonable grounds where although the tenant has not breached the lease, the landlord will be able regain possession of the property.
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Millers Point: through the looking glass

2019-02-01
Jane Bennett Lower Fort Street
Robert Mowbray reflects on the forced relocation of public housing tenants from Millers Point. He collects a selection of posts that report and discuss on the events and issues.
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Do politicans vote with their property interests?

2019-01-10
Politicians
With recent news about Government ministers opposing no grounds reform, we thought it timely to look at whether politicians' votes are affected by their property interests.
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Big numbers and good intentions: Labor's Affordable Housing Plan

2018-12-17
ALP announcement
The Federal ALP conference is happening in Adelaide at the moment, and one of the big early announcements was a plan to build a lot of 'affordable' housing. This can probably be treated as the first big housing announcement of the coming election campaign. It has been met with near-rapturous support from community housing providers and their supporters, like the Everybody's Home campaign. Others, like ACOSS have been more circumspect. And some on twitter have raised some concerns. Let's dig in to what the policy is, and what we might expect to deliver.
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Factchecking the fourth estate

2018-12-10
When you see a claim about housing in Australian media
Media reporting of housing issues is a mixed bag. It certainly has gotten much better over time, and journalists and readers are becoming more educated. Over the last week there have been three instances we thought it was worth picking up on. It was incredibly disappointing that in the same week that Choice, National Shelter and National Association of Tenants Organisations launched 'Disrupted' with excellent coverage across the nation, both of Sydney's main papers had a crack at our public housing tenants. And then the ABC dropped a clanger on Sunday.
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The sale of Millers Point properties has ended: it has made inequality worse

2018-11-09
Millers Point - not for sale photo
With the sale of the final two terrace houses on Saturday, 3 November 2018, Property NSW announced the end of the Millers Point sales program. Announcement of the successful tender for the sale of the Sirius building is expected any day now. We'll take this moment to reflect on a number of ways to remember this chapter.
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The Limits of Rights and Protections: Housing as an Essential Service

2018-10-24
Out of order sign
Public policy relating to renting and tenancy is typically approached through two competing conceptions: consumer protection and human rights - are we regulating an economic exchange or ensuring that everyone has a roof over their heads? The problems resulting from these, governments resistant to enforceable rights mechanisms and not all tenancies being commercial transactions, mean too many people are denied adequate housing. Perhaps it’s time to explore a different way of framing this issue: through the lens of access to housing as public service provision.
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A longer lease on life: issues for older renters

2018-06-21
Older people faces
With a surplus of $3.9 billion for 2016-17, the 2018 NSW State Budget had its winners and losers. The latter include seniors and renters. This blog examine some of the issues confronting older renters.
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