Rent arrears – news and analysis

Rent Reduction Calculator

Text reads "COVID-19 RENT REDUCTION CALCULATOR" with doodle images of houses, dollars and virus particles
We are proud to make this calculator available to people in NSW looking at negotiating rents. It's an unfamiliar process for many people, and it can be tricky working out what you can afford to agree to or what offer you should make! This calculator lets you put in a range of information about your rent and income situation and then allows you to check what different scenarios of reduction look like over time.
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The NSW evictions moratorium: an explainer

Wooden cut out of house, small piles of coins placed beside the cut out.
Yesterday (15 April) the measures announced by the NSW Government on Monday to support renters kicked into gear. This means NSW now has implemented a 6 month moratorium on evictions, but it’s complicated. It doesn't cover all evictions, or all renters. This blog post tries to answer some of your immediate questions. Who exactly does the moratorium cover? How will it work in practice? And what about the rent?
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Rent relief language - quick explainer

Notepad with doodle of houses and text reading: Rent relief? Abatement? Reduction? Control? Freeze? What do they mean?
There’s a lot of phrases being used at the moment to describe some kind of change to the way we’ve gotten used to renting happening in Australia. People are discussing all sorts of ways for government to step in. Some of these phrases though, might not mean what people think they do.
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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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Track rents in your local area – new postcode tool for tenants

Postcode Rent Tracker graphic
Today the Tenants' Union has released the first version of a new tool to help tenants in NSW. We believe the more information people who rent have the better, and now using data directly from the Rental Bond Board, you can check what the latest rents data is for any postcode in NSW with the Rent Tracker Postcode Tool.
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Make Renting Fair gains momentum

Make Renting Fair campaigners and supporters in Redfern
Redfern tenants and community show their support for Make Renting Fair
In NSW current tenancy legislation allows landlords in the private market to end a tenancy without having to give a reason. This means renters are often scared to enforce their rights because they know they can get kicked out for things like asking for repairs or challenging an excessive rent increase. Make Renting Fair is a community campaign calling for law reform to end these unfair evictions. Support for the Make Renting Fair campaign continues to grow.
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Proposed Automatic Rent Deduction Scheme may reduce fairness

The Automatic Rent Deduction Scheme (ARDS) as proposed by the Social Services Legislative Amendment (Housing Affordability) Bill 2017 if passed will have a detrimental impact on arrears and debt management processes employed by social housing landlords in New South Wales. The Tenants' Union has made a submission about our concerns to the Senate Inquiry in the proposed Bill.
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Tenants' organisations concerned about forced rent payments proposal

calculator placed on paper
The National Association of Tenants Organisations has concerns about aspects of a Bill before Federal parliament which would enable social housing landlords to access tenants income support payments in order to pay various housing costs.
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Growing community in a tenant-run garden

Todd and Bent Street tenants
Tenants from Todd & Bent Street
The public housing tenants at Todd and Bent Street have been working hard to create a vibrant community and a luscious community garden. Thanks to their love and care, a permaculture garden now thrives in an area which used to be neglected. We spoke to some of the residents and asked them about the garden and their experiences as tenants.
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My home is like my castle

Lewin George
Lewin George, Marrickville tenant
Home means security for me – this is where I feel safe. My home is like my castle, even though it's one room at the back of my landlord's house. I also like to go out, but I value my privacy when I’m at home. The landlord's dogs are good, they keep watch.
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