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.


Robert Mowbray | 12/11/2020

80 to 55: the case for lowering the age for early allocation of social housing in NSW

In this blog Robert Mowbray puts the argument for lowering the age for early allocation of social housing in NSW from aged 80 years to 55 years. We argue that older people, especially older…
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Riley Brooke | 19/10/2020

What could the NSW Religious Freedoms Bill mean for renters?

Last week, the Tenants’ Union signed on to a joint statement coordinated by Equality Australia opposing NSW One Nation's Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill…
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Jemima Mowbray | 15/10/2020

Pets and strata - a win! But it's only the first step.

On Monday, 12 October 2020 the NSW Court of Appeal found that a strata by-law that places a ban on pets breaches NSW strata scheme legislation and is invalid. A blanket ban on pets, they found,…
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Bronwyn Bate | 17/08/2020

Unlawful and lawful discrimination: how the selection process disadvantages some private renters

In the absence of any legislated right to housing, or rules and guidelines such as waiting lists or criteria determining housing priority (as is the case in public housing), the decision to…
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Leo Patterson Ross | 07/08/2020

We need to talk about the landlord

We don’t only need to talk about the relationship between tenants and landlords – we also need to talk about the landlords themselves. A key flaw exposed through the response to COVID‑19 is the…
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Jemima Mowbray | 07/08/2020

No grounds for limiting reform under COVID-19

Jemima Mowbray looks at the problems renters have faced during COVID‑19, and shows that they are not new or necessarily distinct from the ongoing issues renting households were already facing.…
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Joel Pringle | 07/08/2020

Responding to tenancy issues under COVID‑19

The Tenants' Union is attempting to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on tenants, within the limitations we have. In NSW we are already hearing from tenants that landlords have been…
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Pamela Hunter | 03/08/2020

Tenancy services needed now more than ever

Pamela Hunter, Community Services Manager at VERTO, writes: "Tenancy, and renting in general, became very popular subjects at the beginning of the pandemic but they seem to have slipped…
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Leo Patterson Ross | 08/07/2020

Tenants need to be listened to: community support – not heavy-handed policing

On the weekend over 3,000 public housing tenants in Melbourne were put into an immediate enforced lockdown by the VIC government due to a spike in COVID-19 in the area. Others in the community…
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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…
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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 ‘…
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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.
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