Law reform – news and analysis

Why housing evictions must be suspended to defend us against coronavirus

Man holding head in hands
The COVID-19 pandemic is a double crisis affecting public health and the economy. And both aspects are playing out in our housing system – in our homes. The risk of people becoming homeless during the pandemic is still high. Some more specific actions are needed to shore up our first line of defence. Governments must implement a moratorium on evictions as long as the crisis lasts. Similar changes have already been made overseas.
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Fairer pets laws leaving NSW behind

cat
Today is the start of the new renting with pets laws in Victoria. While the ACT was able to implement their equivalent laws faster, Victoria was the first state to take this stand. They will make a difference to many humans and animals. We hope that the changes help drive a cultural change that shows landlords and agents that keeping pets are nothing to be uptight about. But we also need to be realistic about what they achieve.
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Renting research revisited - Part 2

A row of houses with "to let" signs out the front
Tenant advocates have lead the research into tenancy in NSW for many years. In this second of a series, Robert Mowbray looks back on two of his contributions and what we can learn from them today.
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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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Antisocial antisocial behaviour management

hoodie reading 'anti anti social club'
Last Friday we made our submission to the statutory review of two sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 that require mandatory eviction in social housing for a number of antisocial behaviours, and short eviction times for all social housing tenants.
We recommend a shift in approach. If you want to 'create better, safer communities' scrap the strikes and start investing in communities with a real increase in the resourcing of community based supports and programs that build connection, resilience and capacity for individuals and their communities.
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Sector welcomes important reforms to tenancy laws to further protect victims-survivors of domestic violence

Logos
We welcome the passing today of important legislation to improve the safety of domestic violence victims-survivors renting in NSW. Today’s Bill strengthens reforms which commenced in February this year which allow victims-survivors of domestic violence to end their tenancy immediately without penalty.
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NSW changes to tenancy law - progress update

Australia on a globe
There have been a number of developments in tenancy across Australia recently, and NSW is coming close to implementation of the amendments from 2018. Before we look at the update to NSW, here's the latest from around Australia and New Zealand.
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Productivity Commission recognises need to end unfair No Grounds evictions

Productivity Commission graphic
The Productivity Commission today released a report on vulnerable renters in the private market, concluding that removing unfair no grounds evictions from our renting laws is needed to better protect low income and other vulnerable renters.
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New Tenancy Law Regulations – have your say

Liv
Liv Todhunter, Tenant Advocate
The Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Act 2018 passed late last year – containing a number of positive changes, and some shortcomings. Regulations are currently being drafted; we encourage you to have your say via the Fair Trading website (before 2nd August). Liv Todhunter, Tenant Advocate and Team Leader at the Illawarra and South Coast Tenants’ Advice Service spoke to the Illawarra Mercurcy about the changes.
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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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