Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services – news

WESTS Community Engagement Day

WESTS Tenant Advocates
On Friday 21 May 2021, WESTS held a community engagement event at the Skye Hotel in Parramatta to reconnect with key partners of our organisation. The event was a great success. There were over 60 attendees at the community engagement day who were able to finally reconnect with WESTS after a long-period of physical isolation dating back to the COVID-19 lockdown in March last year.
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COVID-19 and renting, after 26 March 2021

The NSW government has made significant changes to the legal protections for private tenants who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. As the first set of protections during the Moratorium Period (i.e. 15 April 2020 to 26 March 2021) come to an end, new protections are now available for impacted tenants who had accrued arrears over this Moratorium Period. These new protections are set out in this infosheet and will come into effect for 6 months from 26/3/2021 – 26/9/2021.
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The long road

Home owners from Rivergum holiday retreat with Tenant Advocates
Rivergum Holiday Park at Corowa is a small community with about 45 residents including Bob Myles who was one of the first home owners to take an electricity dispute to the Tribunal under the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act (the Act). In February 2017 the Tribunal made an order that the operator was to provide Mr Myles with copies of their electricity accounts so that he could check whether or not he was being overcharged. It was this decision that was later cited by a number of other home owners who were seeking access to their operator’s accounts under section 83 of the Act.
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Practical advocacy for social housing tenants

Text reads social housing clinic
Marrickville Legal Centre is home to two tenancy services – the Inner West Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service (IWTAAS) and Northern Sydney Area Tenants Service (NSATS). The services provide free, confidential legal information, advice and advocacy to renters living in social and private residential housing.  The services have recently introduced a Social Housing Clinic for residents of Sydney’s inner west and Northern Sydney area.
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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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Using artificial intelligence to improve access to justice

New Age Legal Assistant
Marrickville Legal Centre has launched a new virtual legal assistant named ‘NALA’ to help people with basic legal queries online.
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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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Celebrating NAIDOC Week: Always Was, Always Will Be.

NAIDOC
Tenant Advocates have joined in NAIDOC 2020 celebrations across NSW, in person and online. Western Aboriginal Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service participated in the Dubbo NAIDOC event. They provided resources and information, and talked about how WATAAS supports the community with tenancy matters.
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Staying Connected – TAAS Conference 2020

TAAS Conference 2020
Last week, over 100 Tenant Advocates participated in our first online Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services Conference. We explored a range of topics, including changes to tenancy laws, policy reform, and advocate work practice. We looked in detail at the effects COVID-19 has had on tenants lives, the Tribunal’s practices, tenancy law, and mental health. 
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NEWTAAS Annual Report 2020

NEWTAAS Annual Report
I always start these reports by saying that it’s been a remarkable year, but 2020 has certainly exceeded all expectations. Like every organisation, New England and Western Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service has been, and continues to be, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, often in unexpected ways.
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