Granny flats, self-contained studios etc – 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.
Read more

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).
Read more

The Granny Flat Trap

A granny flat
There can be hidden traps when renting granny flats.
Over the past six months the Southern Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service at Metro Assist has seen a steady influx of problems with granny flats. There can be hidden traps when renting granny flats. Firstly, if the granny flat is on the same electricity meter as the house, or there are two granny flats that share a meter, then the electricity bill should be in the name of the landlord, not the tenant.
Read more