Landlords – news and analysis

Renting research revisited - Part 1

The sky is visible through a roof in disrepair
Tenant advocates have lead the research into tenancy in NSW for many years. Robert Mowbray looks back on two of his contributions and what we can learn from them today.
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What you need to know about: Bond Loans

A computer, a phone and a pad of paper
You've found a new place to move to after getting a no grounds notice and you're pretty confident that you'll get your bond back on the current place. But you've been stung by unfounded claims from agents before and you're a bit short on cash since knocking back a couple of shifts to go to inspections. You can't hit up Mum and Dad again to spot you again so soon - and you saw advertisements for bond loans on a few of the ads. Are they a good idea?
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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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Chilly house? Mouldy rooms? Here's how to improve low-income renters’ access to decent housing

Streetscape
People’s quality of life, their health and their comfort can suffer when living in poor-quality housing. It can also impose high ongoing costs of maintenance, repairs, heating and cooling. And these problems are more likely to affect low-income households, as our report for Shelter NSW shows. In it, we review the evidence on housing quality problems and consider ways to resolve these, especially for low-income households. There is extensive evidence of the impacts of poor-quality housing on physical health, mental wellbeing and comfort.
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Do politicans vote with their property interests?

Politicians
With recent news about Government ministers opposing no grounds reform, we thought it timely to look at whether politicians' votes are affected by their property interests.
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Factchecking the fourth estate

When you see a claim about housing in Australian media
Media reporting of housing issues is a mixed bag. It certainly has gotten much better over time, and journalists and readers are becoming more educated. Over the last week there have been three instances we thought it was worth picking up on. It was incredibly disappointing that in the same week that Choice, National Shelter and National Association of Tenants Organisations launched 'Disrupted' with excellent coverage across the nation, both of Sydney's main papers had a crack at our public housing tenants. And then the ABC dropped a clanger on Sunday.
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David and Goliath: One tenant’s 14-year battle for repairs

David Bott
Public housing tenant David Bott
David Bott’s long-running battle in the Tribunal shone a light on a serious issue which public housing tenants know all too well: the systematic failure of FACS to do necessary repairs. After 14 years, FACS made the necessary repairs, but only after getting dangerously close to being found in contempt of the Tribunal. Thanks to David’s tenacity, his case has also paved the way for significant changes to the way FACS will deal with repairs issues.
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Tenancy rights for residents of group homes: consultation forums

Tenants' Union of NSW
The NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing, Disability & Home Care is transferring the management of group homes to the non-government sector. As a result of this change, residents of transferred group homes will get a new landlord. Shelter NSW and the Tenants' Union of NSW are collaborating to deliver a number of targeted face-to-face forums in February 2018. It’s important that we hear from those within our community who will be directly affected by the transfer of supported group accommodation.
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Escaping an unsafe and insecure rental nightmare

Kellie and her son Elijah
Kellie & her son Elijah, Central Coast tenants
Kellie and her son Elijah are tenants on the Central Coast. At their previous place the landlord failed to abide by the agreement and renting laws in a number of ways. So Kellie got advice from Central Coast Tenants Advice and wrote to the landlord to assert her rights. She also went to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to seek compensation for the landlord’s failure to do repairs and an illegal lockout. Although she was unsuccessful at the Tribunal, Kellie did manage to get rehoused in a better place.
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Big win for Aboriginal family in Northern NSW

NATAAS Tenant Advocates
NATAAS Tenant Advocates
Last year an Aboriginal family in Coffs Harbour with seven kids had their lives disrupted by building work. The family was renting a house on a large block in northern NSW. The landlord decided to redevelop the land by building another house on the block.

The tenants were annoyed enough to apply to the Tribunal for compensation and rent reduction. The Tribunal made directions for exchange of evidence. The tenants obtained some advice from an Aboriginal TAAS (Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service) about the evidence needed.
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