Community Legal Centres – news and analysis

No country for young renters

TU logo
Young renters do it tough. Expensive rents, share houses, problems with flatmates, the risk of eviction, dodgy landlords, worry about bonds and outstanding repairs are just the tip of the iceberg. While renters under the age of 25 make up a significant percentage of tenants in NSW, and are living in some of the worst conditions, our research has shown they do not contact Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services (TAASs) at the same rate as other age groups. We want to change that!
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Tenants' Union Annual Report 2019-2020

Tenants' Union Annual Report Cover
The past year has been an extraordinary one for the Tenants’ Union, by any measure. Unprecedented bushfires and then flooding across NSW drove many displaced tenants to tenancy services for support. Several months of natural disasters then gave way to the COVID-19 pandemic which not only drove a record number of tenants to our online resources looking for information and advice but it forced the Tenants’ Union’s own staff to start working remotely. During these external challenges, this year the Tenants’ Union was also forced to look for a new office space and recruit a new CEO. It has been an incredible year of change, but the staff at the Tenants’ Union have taken it in their stride and risen to every challenge. 
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Celebrating NAIDOC Week: Always Was, Always Will Be.

NAIDOC
Tenant Advocates have joined in NAIDOC 2020 celebrations across NSW, in person and online. Western Aboriginal Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service participated in the Dubbo NAIDOC event. They provided resources and information, and talked about how WATAAS supports the community with tenancy matters.
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Staying Connected – TAAS Conference 2020

TAAS Conference 2020
Last week, over 100 Tenant Advocates participated in our first online Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services Conference. We explored a range of topics, including changes to tenancy laws, policy reform, and advocate work practice. We looked in detail at the effects COVID-19 has had on tenants lives, the Tribunal’s practices, tenancy law, and mental health. 
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Reflections on 10 years of Tenant Advocacy

Maz at Tweed Heads
After 10 and a half years, Maralyn Schofield is leaving her role as Coordinator of the Northern Rivers Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service. We took the opportunity to ask her for some of her reflections on the changes she's seen in the world of tenancy – and the things she'd like to see change in future...
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Thank you Julie Foreman!

Julie Foreman at the Town Hall Assembly
Julie Foreman is moving on from her role as Tenants' Union Executive Officer, and the Tenants' Union Board and staff would like to thank her for her fantastic contribution. It has been the Board's absolute pleasure to work with Julie for her entire tenure at the Tenants' Union. Some of the Directors have been on the Board nearly as long as Julie has been at the helm, while others have only just joined, but we are all united in saying she will be dearly missed.
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Advocating for independent living

Mary and Amanda
Recently, the Northern Rivers Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service was able to assist a tenant to maintain her independent living. The tenant lives in social housing, in a modest three bedroom home where she has lived all her life, in a country town. She has a severe visual impairment, and until recently was cared for by her mother. Sadly, her mother passed away not long ago. Her mother held the tenancy, so when she died, our client was given a six month fixed term agreement, while her eligibility for social housing was assessed.
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Advice and advocacy for renters in every community

Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
Tenant Advocates are hard at work all across NSW – making sure tenants know their rights, so we can keep on building good homes and communities. Here are some of the recent examples of the work of our Network, from stalls in the community, to our Network Conference, to winning compensation for tenants, to resisting unfair evications, and helping tenants who are facing mutiple disadvantage.
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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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Tenants' Union Annual Report 2018-2019

Tenants' Union Annual Reports
It's been another year of great results for the Tenants' Union of NSW: 1 million sessions on tenants.org.au for critical renting information; 3,934 people helped with their renting issues; 1,500 workers trained in Residential Tenancy law; $80,000 recovered for 93 parks residents overcharged for electricity; We got 'no grounds' evictions on the political and media agenda, and built support for changes to make renting laws fairer. Read more in our Annual Report.
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