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.


Why housing evictions must be suspended to defend us against coronavirus

23/03/2020
Man holding head in hands
The COVID-19 pandemic is a double crisis affecting public health and the economy. And both aspects are playing out in our housing system – in our homes. The risk of people becoming homeless during the pandemic is still high. Some more specific actions are needed to shore up our first line of defence. Governments must implement a moratorium on evictions as long as the crisis lasts. Similar changes have already been made overseas.
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Fairer pets laws leaving NSW behind

02/03/2020
cat
Today is the start of the new renting with pets laws in Victoria. While the ACT was able to implement their equivalent laws faster, Victoria was the first state to take this stand. They will make a difference to many humans and animals. We hope that the changes help drive a cultural change that shows landlords and agents that keeping pets are nothing to be uptight about. But we also need to be realistic about what they achieve.
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A new approach to mortgagee repossessions

20/02/2020
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

07/02/2020
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

06/01/2020
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

04/01/2020
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

19/12/2019
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

29/11/2019
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

27/11/2019
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

20/11/2019
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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