Privacy and access – news and analysis

Renting with pets in NSW

child sits on a couch next to a puppy
This infosheet looks at the legal situation for renters in NSW and answers common questions pet owners have in relation to keeping pets. As a tenant in New South Wales you have rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019. As a pet owner, you also have a responsibility for the welfare of your pet, and there are council obligations that apply equally to home-owners and renters
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COVID-19 Financial Incentives for Landlords

Group of people in a house with cartoons of covid outside
The NSW Government has introduced financial incentives that can be claimed by landlords who provide a rent reduction to tenants impacted by COVID-19 during this period. If you are an ‘impacted tenant’, you can advise your landlord that if they provide you with a rent reduction, then they can claim one of the following two types of government payments.
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Lockdown safety net: our analysis

Lockdown safety net: our analysis
This week NSW heads into a tougher lockdown. For many renting households, especially renters who are casual workers, this is going to have a significant impact on their income and ability to make rent and cover other essentials. In this blog, we run through in more detail the support package for renting households that was announced last week.
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Requests for access during lockdown?

Hand knocking on door
The Public Health Orders so far have continued to allow landlords and their agents to force a range of entries into residential premises against the wishes of the occupants and their attempts to follow health advice. We want to hear from renters about any requests for access they've received - e.g. routine inspection, viewing appointments, repairs or maintenance, other - you have received since the start of the NSW lockdown period. We will be using information collected to advocate for tougher restrictions on access to rental housing during lockdown.
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NSW Peaks push for measures to support households struggling during current lockdown.

Household wearing masks, virus in background
The Tenants Union of NSW, with the NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS) and Homelessness NSW, have written to Premier Berejiklian and Treasurer Perrottet, asking them to ensure measures are in place to support the most vulnerable during the current lockdown. “It’s really important that the restriction on forcing people to move is seen as part of the health response. It is entirely avoidable. We can and should be preventing people from being evicted or made financially desperate and forced by that to move during lockdown.”

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Young Renters: We hear you!

Vanessa
A new report by the Tenants’ Union of NSW and Youth Action digs into issues facing renters under 30. Young people’s voices feature, with quotes taken from the 304 responses to our survey of young renters, as well as observations from the 15 young renters who engaged in our young renter roundtable discussions.
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TICA charging you for access? No more!

Have you paid to access your info on a tenant database or blacklist? On 23 March 2020 this became unlawful. Access must be free.
Did you know it is unlawful for tenant databases to charge you for access to the information they hold on you? If you have paid for access to a tenant database in the last year, read this!
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Renting: What needs to change?

Rainbow and houses graphic. Text reads: somewhere over the rainbow, there's a place called home.
“There’s no place like home.” But for so many of us who rent, current tenancy laws and practice prevent renters from feeling the sense of being settled and secure needed to really feel 'at home'. Part of our work at the Tenants Union NSW is to push for change & towards housing justice. We want to hear from you: what needs to change? What renting issues are most important to you, and why? Please take a minute and take our survey.
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No country for young renters?

Text summary of post body, showing 6 young people looking at phones
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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