Welcome to our blog. Tenants' Union staff and occasional guests offer 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 news. For factsheets see tenancy info.


Leo Patterson Ross | 24/07/2021

Vale John Mant – supporter of TAAS

VALE JOHN MANT, 1936-2021: The tenants of New South Wales owe a big thankyou to John Mant who died on 10 July, aged 84. He left a legacy still in the making, especially in the field of urban…
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Jemima Mowbray | 19/07/2021

Lockdown safety net: our analysis

This week NSW heads into a tougher lockdown. For many renting households, especially renters who are casual workers, this is going to have a significant impact on their income and ability to…
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Sally Latter | 06/07/2021

Call for systemic change amid Northern Rivers housing crisis

The Northern Rivers region is beset by soaring rental prices, social housing issues, a crisis of housing instability and homelessness. In this article Sally Latter, Coordinator of the Northern…
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Riley Brooke | 05/07/2021

Fees to pay rent? Third party rent payment services: an explainer

There’s been a little bit of buzz lately around third party rent payment services, especially across social media. So, what exactly are these services, and are they a good idea?

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Riley Brooke | 17/06/2021

Renters deserve warm homes in winter

Like many Sydneysiders who rent, I live in an apartment that, in winter, is perpetually flippin’ freezing. Here in NSW, property investors aren't required to implement basic measures that…
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Leo Patterson Ross | 11/06/2021

TICA charging you for access? No more!

Did you know it is unlawful for tenant databases to charge you for access to the information they hold on you? If you have paid for access to a tenant database in the last year, read this!
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Riley Brooke | 01/06/2021

What you need to know about rent bidding

Rent bidding happens when there’s a shortage of available rental properties, so prospective tenants make an offer to pay rent above the advertised price in order to secure a property. Now, we…
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Leo Patterson Ross | 24/05/2021

No home left behind!

In this op-ed piece, Leo Patterson Ross asks what is missing from our approach to regulation of boarding houses? What would it look like if we started the conversation about reform by…
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Jemima Mowbray | 21/05/2021

A long, winding road: NSW boarding house reform

In the context of plans for a new Shared Accommodation Act to replace the existing Boarding House Act 2012, Jemima Mowbray provides a short history of the long road towards ensuring better…
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Pamela Hunter | 10/05/2021

How a volatile rental market could impact some of the most vulnerable in our communities 

The past 12 months have had a significant impact on many tenants, particularly those who may be at risk of financial hardship or homelessness. Pamela Hunter, from VERTO’s Tenants’ Advice and…
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The Conversation | 24/02/2021

Can I have a pet and be housed, too? It all depends...

Trying to find housing can be a nightmare for pet owners, especially those who need it in a crisis. The inconsistencies from state to state and between different forms of housing demand reform.…
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Leo Patterson Ross | 23/02/2021

Getting your LL plates?

There is currently a petition in NSW Parliament for the creation of a “Landlord non-compliance register”. It speaks to some of the most frustrating aspects of renting in Australia.
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