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. For an official quote for media use, or questions regarding our research, policy or publications please contact us. For more articles see the Brown Couch archive, the Clearing House, and general news.  For factsheets see Tenancy info.


Robert Mowbray | 12/06/2020

Pursuing a mountain of debt: Landlords’ Insurance

This blog explores two aspects of landlords’ insurance and asks whether the practices of insurance companies will change during the COVID-19 crisis. The first is when a tenant falls into rent…
Read more
Robert Mowbray | 04/06/2020

Avoiding the spring of carnage: NSW Government rental assistance during the COVID-19 crisis

This blog outlines what rental assistance programs are available to tenants in the private rental market in New South Wales. Further, it asks whether this assistance is adequate to ensure ‘…
Read more
Leo Patterson Ross | 30/04/2020

Rent affordability in COVID-19: Anglicare report

Today Anglicare released the latest version of its Affordability Snapshot which looks at the number of available and affordable properties for people on low incomes.
Read more
Jemima Mowbray | 16/04/2020

The NSW evictions moratorium: an explainer

Yesterday (15 April) the measures announced by the NSW Government on Monday to support renters kicked into gear. This means NSW now has implemented a 6 month moratorium on evictions, but it’s…
Read more
Jemima Mowbray | 07/04/2020

Uncertainty and fear: evictions during the pandemic

"Isn’t there supposed to be a ban on evictions at the moment?"

Two weeks ago Prime Minister Scott Morrison, following a meeting of national cabinet, announced states…
Read more
The Conversation | 07/04/2020

Why coronavirus impacts are devastating for international students in private rental housing

About half of international students in Australia are private renters and more than half of them rely on paid work to pay the rent, but most of the casual jobs they depend on have been lost in…
Read more
Leo Patterson Ross | 02/04/2020

How to set a fair rent during COVID-19

Despite it being a tricky concept for some to get used to, lots of people are trying to negotiate their rents right now. We’ve had a look at the ATO’s tax stats to try and help out what might be…
Read more
Leo Patterson Ross | 29/03/2020

Rent relief language - quick explainer

There’s a lot of phrases being used at the moment to describe some kind of change to the way we’ve gotten used to renting happening in Australia. People are discussing all sorts of ways for…
Read more
The Conversation | 23/03/2020

Why housing evictions must be suspended to defend us against coronavirus

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…
Read more
Leo Patterson Ross | 02/03/2020

Fairer pets laws leaving NSW behind

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…
Read more
Leo Patterson Ross | 20/02/2020

A new approach to mortgagee repossessions

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…
Read more
Leo Patterson Ross | 07/02/2020

International students, COVID-19 and housing

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…
Read more