Tenants' Union news

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Latest news and analysis

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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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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In/formal housing – is more formality the answer?

Leo Patterson Ross at the Housing Theory Symposium
This is the text of an address given by Senior Policy Officer Leo Patterson Ross to the Housing Theory Symposium 2019. Leo argues that "Like water, if we do not get the supply of housing right, it will get to people in uncontrolled ways, providing too much to some and preventing others from getting enough. Along the way, some of it might get tainted and become unhealthy, unsafe. There will always be luxury water, sold in little bottles. But if we ensure cheap tap water continues to flow then those who need it will never go thirsty."
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Thank you to our volunteers!

Volunteers Merrilyn and Tina
Merrilyn and Tina are two of the Tenants' Union Monday Advice Line volunteers. From rent increases, social housing, evictions and sharehousing, our volunteers explain the laws and systems and talk through renters' options. Their dedication has made a world of difference – between them they have assisted more than 300 people who called up looking for renting advice. What champions!
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Negative gearing is still not your friend

Balacava - negative gearing is not your friend
Negative gearing remains a major issue for tenants - we've written more than 50 articles about it! This article has been one of the most widely read over the last few years, and now we've updated the data. In summary: negative gearing does not cause an individual landlord to charge less rent; negative gearing does not create net additional rental housing; negative gearing has contributed to more higher-income households renting; negative gearing has contributed to low-value properties dropping out of the rental market.
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Theresa May shows Gladys the way on eviction reform

Theresa May shows Gladys the way on eviction reform
Theresa May’s government in the UK has shown that supporting a fairer, balanced renting system is possible for conservative governments. Last week May and Housing Minister James Brokenshire announced that legislation was to be written to end unfair ‘no grounds’ evictions. Landlords will no longer be able to end tenancies either at the end of a fixed-term or outside a contract period without giving any reason at all. Instead, there will be a list of reasonable grounds where although the tenant has not breached the lease, the landlord will be able regain possession of the property.
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A tenant's guide to the NSW election 2019

A tenant's guide to the NSW Election 2019
We asked all the political parties 10 key questions about housing in NSW. This guide compiles their answers and compares key tenant demographics for each electorate. Addressing the state’s affordability crisis and implementing amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act was front of mind for many of those who responded. We also asked about pets, boarding houses, residential land lease communities, building quality and more.
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Tenants demand action on ‘no grounds’ evictions – new report released

cartoon of furniture upside down
The Tenants’ Union of NSW with Marrickville Legal Centre has released the findings of a new report exploring the impacts of no grounds evictions. Just over three quarters (77%) of renters have held back from asserting a right or reporting a problem because they worried about receiving a ‘no grounds’ eviction.
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Public Housing Transfers

Public housing transfers
In October 2018, FACS Housing commenced their program of ‘whole of location’ transfers to Community Housing Providers with a group of just under one thousand tenancies in the Shoalhaven District transferred to Southern Cross Housing. These are the first of about 14,000 tenancies marked for whole-of-location management transfer over the coming year.
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NSW Fair Trading information sessions and webinars

Sign reading 'Informaiton'
Throughout the year NSW Fair Trading holds information sessions of various sorts. Coming up soon are webinars about domestic violence law changes and live information sessions in the Northern Rivers about Residential Land Lease Communities.
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