Tenants' Union news and analysis


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Opportunities for Aboriginal Advocates

Burralgaa Walaay by Millmullian
Three job opportunities are available for Aboriginal advocates. An Aboriginal Paralegal at the Tenants' Union of NSW, Surry Hills; a Tenancy Services Manager at the Western Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, Dubbo; and a Tenant Advocate at the Greater Sydney Aboriginal Tenants Service, St Mary's.
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Productivity Commission recognises need to end unfair No Grounds evictions

Productivity Commission graphic
The Productivity Commission today released a report on vulnerable renters in the private market, concluding that removing unfair no grounds evictions from our renting laws is needed to better protect low income and other vulnerable renters.
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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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No Bang for your Bond!

Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
This is the initial response from Tenants' Union of NSW, resourcing body for 19 NSW-based Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Services, to the release of funding agreements from 2019-2022 for NSW Government funding for the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program. We welcome the continued funding of tenancy services. Renters in NSW need and appreciate the services they receive from TAASs. However, we estimate 1 in 3 seeking assistance are missing out. It makes no sense that funding isn’t increased when we know there is interest available from renters' own money in the Rental Bond Board and Property Services account.
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No homes on a dead planet

Desert for lease
The evidence has been in for some time that our climate is changing. As the Tenants' Union of NSW this concerns us because we know that renters live in housing that is the least suitable for a changing climate and with weak rights to make changes. We believe all people deserve safe, stable homes to live in and this aim only becomes harder to achieve the longer we wait to start. So what can we do?
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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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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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