History – news and analysis

Changes to the law for 'protected tenants'

Protected tenant's roof
The leaking roof over the home of a 93-year-old protected tenant.
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.
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'Protected tenants' infosheet

Leaking roof
The leaking roof over the home of a 93-year-old protected tenant.
A small number of tenants of residential premises across New South Wales live in premises covered by the former Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1948 (‘1948 Act’). They are known as ‘protected tenants’. Unlike most tenants, they are not covered under the main provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 ('2010 Act') because of Section 7(a) of that Act.
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Millers Point: through the looking glass

Jane Bennett Lower Fort Street
Robert Mowbray reflects on the forced relocation of public housing tenants from Millers Point. He collects a selection of posts that report and discuss on the events and issues.
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WESTS celebrates 10 years

WESTS team with Dr Geoff Lee
The Western Sydney Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service (WESTS) recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary at Western Sydney Community Legal Centre (WSCLC). WESTS can be proud to have reached this milestone knowing that they have helped many thousands of renters over the years – last year alone they assisted over 3,000 new clients.
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#WeLiveHere community action

Brian with his dog Ruby in their apartment
Waterloo renter Brian, with his dog Ruby
#WeLiveHere2017 was a community action led by local residents of Redfern Waterloo. Coloured lights lit up the two social housing tower blocks in Waterloo – Matavai and Turanga – that have dominated the southern skyline of Sydney since 1976. In 2015 the NSW State Government announced the redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate, including six large tower blocks and several low rise dwellings. Some 3,600 residents – many of them elderly or people with a disability – will be relocated in the process. The Tenants' Union spoke to two residents who participated in the #WeLiveHere action, Felix and Brian, to get their perspectives.
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Tenants' Union Annual Report 2015-2016 now online

The cover of the Tenant's Union Annual Report
This year the TU celebrated four decades of working for tenants’ rights. An anniversary such as this is an opportunity to celebrate achievements, acknowledge the many contributors to the journey and take a clear-eyed view on what still needs to be done. You can read more about how we celebrated this milestone in our Annual Report. The report also summarises the TU's activity over 2015-2016 across all our service areas.
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A day in the life of Brett Webb: Aboriginal Tenant Advocate

Brett Webb, Aboriginal Tenant Advocate
Brett Webb, Aboriginal Tenant Advocate
Brett Webb is an Aboriginal Tenant Advocate at the Northern Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service. In this interview he speaks about his experiences and day-to-day work.
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Life begins at 40!

Julie Foreman
Julie Foreman, TU Executive Officer
Julie Foreman, Tenants' Union of NSW Executive Officer reflects on the TU's 40 years of working for tenants rights and housing justice. She introduces a compilation of stories which celebrate the achievements of that hard work and also take a clear-eyed view of what still needs to be done.
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The importance of a secure home

Carol and Vivian
Carol and Vivian, social housing tenants
Firstly, to introduce us, I am Carol (on the left in the picture) and my sister is Vivian (on the right). We are social housing residents living in Riverwood and have lived here since 1984. Originally we were in a third-floor unit on – a word I dislike – a housing estate. Because Vivian had a health problem we were given a transfer a short distance away to a small villa. Our introduction to the Tenants’ Union of NSW was while I was doing a Diploma of Community Work/Welfare at TAFE around 2007.
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Fighting evictions in residential parks

Jill Edmonds
Jill Edmonds, park resident
In 1990 I bought a manufactured home in a residential park (now called a ‘residential community’). I knew there was an element of risk in using my meagre retirement funds to become the owner of an ‘affordable’ house located on land owned by someone else. I did not know it was possible that park owners who had approval for redevelopment were permitted to evict pensioner residents and take ownership of their homes with no legal requirements for compensation. I thought such things could only happen in third-world countries!
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