Regional NSW – news and analysis

Electricity win – a real circuit breaker

Parklea land lease community residents
A few weeks ago the Tenants' Union of NSW successfully represented 93 residents from Parklea residential land lease community in Tribunal applications regarding unfair electricity charges. Residents will now receive a refund totalling approximately $80,000 for incorrect charges in their embedded electricity network dating from November 2015. This important case will assist residents across NSW to challenge overcharging for their electricity.
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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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17 years of advocacy in Regional NSW

Chris Maybin
Chris Maybin, Tenant Advocate
Chris Maybin has been a Tenant Advocate with VERTO South West Tenants’ Advice Service for 17 years. Now she's moving on, but in this interview she gives some of her thoughts and reflections on her experiences. She talks about having to tell a family they were going to be homeless, and being "cursed" by a landlord! She also explains some of the particular challenges faced by tenants and Tenant Advocates in regional New South Wales.
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Power Savers making gains

Leonie
Leonie, power-saving tenant
Sixty households in Coonamble have signed up to a community program to cut their electricity bills. The Coonamble Power Savers Program is an energy efficiency program in operation since July 2016. The original Power Savers project started in 2013 and assisted over 1,000 low-income households in NSW, including tenants, to reduce their power bills and improve comfort in their homes.
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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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Latest Rent Tracker release

rent tracker cover image - a house with eyes.
Latest Rent Tracker report available now
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Land Lease Community residents get their day in the Supreme Court

Hastings Point Residents
Paul Smyth (Tenants' Union Residential Parks Legal Officer) has been working with the residents of Hasting Point for the past five years on their court case for compensation for eviction. On 14th November, they had their day in the Supreme Court.
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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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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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