Utilities – news and analysis

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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Disrupted – the consumer experience of renting in Australia

Disrupted – the consumer experience of renting in Australia
Fear of eviction, properties in disrepair and just getting by are the common experience of renting in Australia. "Disrupted – the consumer experience of renting in Australia", is the second report commissioned by CHOICE, National Shelter, and the National Association of Tenant Organisations (NATO), that delves into the renting experiences of our country’s renters.
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Utilities hardship research

House lit by candles
Coming home to a house with no power or living with fear of not being able to afford power bills is something no one should have to do. But with rising costs it's something we hear of more and more. The Tenants' Union is supporting research looking at how people cope with their energy and water bills and the circumstances that may lead to people being disconnected, either now or in the future.
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Everybody's Home – campaign to fix Australia's housing system

Everybody's home campaign
Everybody's Home is a new campaign by a coalition of organisations in the housing and community sectors. The campaign will bring national attention to reforms urgently needed to fix Australia’s housing system. The TU is happy to be supporting this campaign aimed at improving housing for everyone, including renters.
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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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