Utilities (electricity, water, gas etc) news and analysis

No country for young renters

TU logo
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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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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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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Get advice before a Tribunal hearing

Got a date with the Tribunal?
Are you going to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)? Would you like advice from your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service? Complete the below webform and your local service will contact you regarding advice and information. While the local service will do their best to call you, if your hearing is less than one week away it may not be possible to speak to you before the hearing date. You should still put your details in the form below and let the Tribunal know that you have sought advice.
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Outasite magazine issue 6 – out now!

Outasite 6 cover
Our annual printed publication for land lease communities has been published and delivered to mailboxes in communities all over NSW. You can also download a pdf here or read the articles online. We hope you enjoy the read. If you’d like to subscribe, please contact us, or subscribe to our regular email newsletter Outasite Lite.
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Five year review

Outasite logo
At the end of 2020, which has been a very strange year so far, the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 (RLLC Act) is due for review. The RLLC Act commenced on 1 November 2015 and the Minister responsible is required to review the Act as soon as possible after five years from commencement. Following the review, a report is to be tabled in each House of Parliament within 12 months after the end of the period of five years. If the RLLC Act review proceeds on time, which looks likely, this report would need to be tabled by 31 October 2021. The purpose of a statutory review of an Act is to determine whether the policy objectives remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives. In this article we delve into the detail of the policy objectives and discuss achievements, failures and what needs to change. 
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Hummmmm

power lines
Just when we think it’s all over a brand new electricity conundrum pops up. This time the question is whether an operator can stop providing electricity to home owners through the embedded network, and effectively force those home owners to contract with a particular energy retailer. In three land lease communities that we are aware of, this exact situation has been unfolding.
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Renters' Guide to COVID-19

Renters' Guide to COVID-19
The Renters' Guide to COVID-19 covers common questions about renting in New South Wales during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Tenants' Union of NSW is working hard to keep this Guide up to date.
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Strata renters: have your say on renewable energy

Rooftop solar
We know that renters' voices are often missing when it comes to discussions about renewable energy and strata living. But there is currently an opportunity to be heard, as the NSW government is looking at initiatives to boost renewable energy and reduce power bills for people who live in apartments rather than houses. This year will also see a statutory review of strata law, which is a very good time to be engaged in the conversation. If you rent in an apartment, townhouse or villa, please fill in this new survey which looks at the barriers to installing sustainability infrastructure (i.e.solar panels, batteries, smart meters, efficient hot water systems etc).
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Economic stimulus proposal: Healthy & affordable homes

Economic Stimulus image
The Tenants' Union, together with over 50 other organisations, is calling for governments to invest in energy efficiency and solar PV for low income homes to stimulate tens of thousands of jobs, cut energy bills and emissions.
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