Utilities – news and analysis

Renters' Guide to COVID-19

Covid19 graphic
The Tenants' Union of NSW is regularly updating our Renters' Guide to COVID-19. The Guide covers common questions about renting in NSW during the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.
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Are evictions stopped in NSW? Yes. But...

A stop on evictions! But...
From Wednesday 15th April the NSW Evictions Moratorium came into effect. So there is a stop on evictions, at least for 60 days – but not on all evictions and not for all people. For more detail, read our series of resources covering the eviction moratorium, rent and other issues during the COVID-19 crisis.
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Important changes to rental laws – 23 March 2020

Picture reading "Tenancy law changes: new rules for renting in NSW from 23 March..."
Important changes to tenancy law have come into effect as of 23 March 2020. These changes affect anyone renting a property in NSW (including people who rent both home and site in residential land lease communities). We have been working hard to update our factsheets so that you can be sure that this site is accurate and you're reading the most up-to-date information.
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Ensure all rental homes are safe and healthy

We, a broad collection of community, business, research and environment groups, have come together to call for the NSW Government to set strong minimum standards for rental homes. All rental homes should be safe, healthy and affordable to run.
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Embedded networks on ABC's 7.30 Report

Mary Preston
Mary Preston, land lease community resident
Mary Preston is an amazing member of our network of land lease community residents. She works for fairness in her community and gathers frequently with other members of the network to discuss issues and solutions. Mary recently appeared on ABC's 7.30 Report in an investigation into embedded networks in land lease communities.
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Solar for All – including us renters

Text heading reads "what is a solar garden"
Everyone deserves to be part of the shift to renewable energy but 35% of Australians are 'locked-out', unable to get the benefits of rooftop solar – because we rent (or live in an apartment, or have a shady roof, or we just can’t afford the upfront cost). The good news is that there is a solution – a Solar Garden. But we need your support to make Solar Gardens take off.
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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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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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Chilly house? Mouldy rooms? Here's how to improve low-income renters’ access to decent housing

Streetscape
People’s quality of life, their health and their comfort can suffer when living in poor-quality housing. It can also impose high ongoing costs of maintenance, repairs, heating and cooling. And these problems are more likely to affect low-income households, as our report for Shelter NSW shows. In it, we review the evidence on housing quality problems and consider ways to resolve these, especially for low-income households. There is extensive evidence of the impacts of poor-quality housing on physical health, mental wellbeing and comfort.
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