Tenants' Union news and analysis


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Renting art across Sydney

Edge poster
Art reflecting and questioning housing is currently on display across Sydney. One of the artists, Emily Valentine, comments, "In our real estate centric society, photographs of houses – empty, clean, white, and devoid of people bombard us. These images build a fantasy of the perfect state of houses, but also as homes as vacant spaces. This is abnormal."
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Will you stand up for renting pets?

Child and dog sitting on a couch
Australia is a pet-loving country. A nationwide survey in 2018 found that 82 per cent of Australians agree that animals make them healthier or happier. NSW is being left behind other parts of Australia – both Victoria and the ACT have amended their laws to make pet-keeping the default option. But NSW now has the opportunity to take the lead!
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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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Job opportunity: Aboriginal Legal Officer

Burralgaa Walaay by Millmullian
The Tenants' Union of NSW is seeking an Aboriginal Legal Officer. This role involves giving advice, engaging in litigation, undertaking research, assisting in policy development, and providing training to the four front-line Aboriginal Tenant Advice and Advocacy Services in NSW.
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Guide to public housing rental bonds

Tenants whose homes are managed by FACS Housing may be asked to pay a rental bond. The rules around this bond are different to bonds in the private market in a number of ways.
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NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal – have your say

Screenshot of the NCAT front page
The Civil and Administrative Tribunal has been operating for more than 5 years! In that time hundreds of thousands of tenancy, social housing, residential land lease communities and boarding house renters have attended hearings. The Justice Department is now conducting a review of the Tribunal. If you have had an experience there and would like to tell them about we encourage you to participate. You need to send your response by July 10th.
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Q+A: Water restrictions, drought and rental bond

Watering can
"The agent is demanding all of my bond to pay for turf and lawn work. The lawn is not what it was at the beginning of the tenancy. But, we are in drought and there are water restrictions. It does not seem fair that I have to pay for turf etc when the lawn would probably have died anyway. Where do I stand? What can I do?"
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Changes to the law for 'protected tenants'

Protected tenant's roof
The leaking roof over the home of a 93-year-old protected tenant.
From 1 July 2019 the law regarding ‘protected tenants’ changed. They previously were covered under the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1948. No-one knows how many protected tenancies remain, but in 2019 their number is small. Some five years ago we estimated that there were 400 to 600 protected tenancies across New South Wales. Today their numbers probably have halved.
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'Protected tenants' infosheet

Leaking roof
The leaking roof over the home of a 93-year-old protected tenant.
A small number of tenants of residential premises across New South Wales live in premises covered by the former Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1948 (‘1948 Act’). They are known as ‘protected tenants’. Unlike most tenants, they are not covered under the main provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 ('2010 Act') because of Section 7(a) of that Act.
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Tenant Advocates come together for Network Meeting

Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
Tenant Advocates from across New South Wales recently came together for another successful Network Meeting organised by the Tenants' Union. There were sessions on the new domestic violence tenancy laws, the 'pay to stay' principle in relation to rent arrears, electricity in land lease communities, the NDIS, social housing transfers, and much more.
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