Climate change – news and analysis

No grounds for limiting reform under COVID-19

Graphic of a family in a house, wearing masks, virus outside
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. The COVID‑19 health crisis has highlighted and exacerbated existing inequalities and problems experienced by renters – most acutely, the problems of housing insecurity and the lack of affordable rental housing.
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Strata renters: have your say on renewable energy

Rooftop solar
We know that renters' voices are often missing when it comes to discussions about renewable energy and strata living. But there is currently an opportunity to be heard, as the NSW government is looking at initiatives to boost renewable energy and reduce power bills for people who live in apartments rather than houses. This year will also see a statutory review of strata law, which is a very good time to be engaged in the conversation. If you rent in an apartment, townhouse or villa, please fill in this new survey which looks at the barriers to installing sustainability infrastructure (i.e.solar panels, batteries, smart meters, efficient hot water systems etc).
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Economic stimulus proposal: Healthy & affordable homes

Economic Stimulus image
The Tenants' Union, together with over 50 other organisations, is calling for governments to invest in energy efficiency and solar PV for low income homes to stimulate tens of thousands of jobs, cut energy bills and emissions.
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Ensure all rental homes are safe and healthy

We, a broad collection of community, business, research and environment groups, have come together to call for the NSW Government to set strong minimum standards for rental homes. All rental homes should be safe, healthy and affordable to run.
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Important info for bushfire affected tenants

Fire icon
We at the Tenants' Union are shocked and saddened by the unprecedented bushfire emergency of the last months. Some of you may have lost your rental accommodation to the fires or may have had your accommodation damaged. Some of you may have family, friends or neighbours who have been affected. We have compiled these resources which may be helpful.
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Getting your rented home bushfire ready

house
Guest blogger Hayley Stone, co-ordinator of the Eastern Area Tenants' Service and volunteer with the Rural Fire Service in the Blue Mountains, gives us some general guidance on getting your rental property prepared for bushfires.
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Solar for All – including us renters

Text heading reads "what is a solar garden"
Everyone deserves to be part of the shift to renewable energy but 35% of Australians are 'locked-out', unable to get the benefits of rooftop solar – because we rent (or live in an apartment, or have a shady roof, or we just can’t afford the upfront cost). The good news is that there is a solution – a Solar Garden. But we need your support to make Solar Gardens take off.
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Reflections of a Blue Mountains Tenant Advocate

Jo Hibbert
Jo Hibbert, Tenant Advocate
Jo Hibbert has been a Tenant Advocate at the Blue Mountains Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service for seven years. Now she’s retiring for a well-earned break, so we took the opportunity to ask her for some reflections about her time in the world of tenancy. She talks about some of her experiences at the Tribunal, and the way the workload for Advocates has increased, but the funding hasn't. She also tells the story of a tenant who she defended from eviction six times!
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No homes on a dead planet

Desert for lease
The evidence has been in for some time that our climate is changing. As the Tenants' Union of NSW this concerns us because we know that renters live in housing that is the least suitable for a changing climate and with weak rights to make changes. We believe all people deserve safe, stable homes to live in and this aim only becomes harder to achieve the longer we wait to start. So what can we do?
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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?"
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