Fairness prevails

Gaye and Barry Sanders
Good news stories seem to be few and far between in land lease communities, so Barry Sanders, of Terrigal Waters Village, thinks we should share positive outcomes and acknowledge those times when operators do the right thing.
Read more

Electricity: The battle over usage charges approaches resolution

Mary Preston
When we published our last issue of Outasite (in July 2018) the battle over electricity usage charges was in the early stages and as most home owners will be aware, a great deal has happened since then. In this article we will attempt to bring you up to date. Since the introduction of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 park operators have disputed how electricity costs should be charged to residents. Tribunal determinations on electricity charges have been inconsistent. In proceedings involving other parties, the Tribunal has accepted different methods of calculating refunds including applying the peak rate paid by the operator and also an ‘averaging method’.
Read more

Cooperative communities

In New South Wales land lease community living appears to be flourishing. In recent years we have seen new communities being opened, others being expanded and an increase in the quality and availability of new homes. However, there is an undercurrent of discontent and some home owners believe the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 has undermined the rights of home owners in favour of operators. At the heart of this discontent is the power imbalance between operators and home owners.
Read more

Out now! Outasite issue 5

Outasite 2019 cover
Outasite issue 5 is hot off the presses and finding its way into mailboxes in land lease communities all over NSW. This issue contains articles including: Cooperative communities; Electricity usage charges; Fairness about site repairs; Di Evans – land lease community advocate; Interference with sale; Site fees; Identifying the operator; Assignment of site agreements; NSW Fair Trading and Service NSW; Meet the Minister.
Read more

Will you stand up for renting pets?

Child and dog sitting on a couch
Australia is a pet-loving country. A nationwide survey in 2018 found that 82 per cent of Australians agree that animals make them healthier or happier. NSW is being left behind other parts of Australia – both Victoria and the ACT have amended their laws to make pet-keeping the default option. But NSW now has the opportunity to take the lead!
Read more

New Tenancy Law Regulations – have your say

The Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Act 2018 passed late last year – containing a number of positive changes, and some shortcomings. Regulations are currently being drafted; we encourage you to have your say via the Fair Trading website (before 2nd August). Liv Todhunter, Tenant Advocate and Team Leader at the Illawarra and South Coast Tenants’ Advice Service spoke to the Illawarra Mercurcy about the changes.
Read more

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal – have your say

Screenshot of the NCAT front page
The Civil and Administrative Tribunal has been operating for more than 5 years! In that time hundreds of thousands of tenancy, social housing, residential land lease communities and boarding house renters have attended hearings. The Justice Department is now conducting a review of the Tribunal. If you have had an experience there and would like to tell them about we encourage you to participate. You need to send your response by July 10th.
Read more

Q+A: Water restrictions, drought and rental bond

Watering can
"The agent is demanding all of my bond to pay for turf and lawn work. The lawn is not what it was at the beginning of the tenancy. But, we are in drought and there are water restrictions. It does not seem fair that I have to pay for turf etc when the lawn would probably have died anyway. Where do I stand? What can I do?"
Read more

Changes to the law for 'protected tenants'

Protected tenant's roof
From 1 July 2019 the law regarding ‘protected tenants’ changed. They previously were covered under the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1948. No-one knows how many protected tenancies remain, but in 2019 their number is small. Some five years ago we estimated that there were 400 to 600 protected tenancies across New South Wales. Today their numbers probably have halved.
Read more

Tenant Advocates come together for Network Meeting

Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
Tenant Advocates from across New South Wales recently came together for another successful Network Meeting organised by the Tenants' Union. There were sessions on the new domestic violence tenancy laws, the 'pay to stay' principle in relation to rent arrears, electricity in land lease communities, the NDIS, social housing transfers, and much more.
Read more