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.


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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Robert Mowbray | 31/12/2020

Housing people with a hoarding disorder - what should a best practice approach look like?

Robert Mowbray, Older renters' Policy Officer at the Tenants' Union looks at the ways in which hoarding disorder impacts on people's lives and the particular risks renters with a…
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Eloise Parrab | 23/12/2020

Fire safety in your rented home

As we are heading back into the bushfire season in NSW we thought it would be a good time to remind us all on how to ensure our homes are bushfire prepared and general fire safety in the home.…
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Lauren Berends | 14/12/2020

Forced out during a health crisis: Renters' stories #MovingMonday

You might have seen via our social media that the Tenants' Union NSW is moving – because we've been evicted! We're an organisation and it doesn't affect our lives - or the…
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Jemima Mowbray | 18/11/2020

Promise of a big spend on social housing: Did the NSW budget deliver?

In early October NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald suggested social and affordable housing would be a priority in the November NSW budget. In this…
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