Tenants' Union news

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Turning down free money: landlords and the problem of the split incentive

Tue, 16/11/2021 - 16:03
Moratorium period shifted to transition period as of 11 Nov. Impacted renters can now directly apply for rent relief up to $4500
On November 11 the NSW ban on evictions for impacted tenants ended. We’ve now moved into a period of transitional protections. This means if you are an 'impacted tenant' and built up rent arrears during the moratorium period (14 July – 11 November) there are still restrictions in place to protect you against eviction for arrears. Another change is that renters who meet the eligibility requirements as 'Covid-19 impacted tenants' will now be able to directly apply for the residential tenancy support payment for an amount of up to $4,500.
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Forging Ahead – Tenant Advocates Conference

Tue, 09/11/2021 - 12:28
TAAS Conference 2021
In October 2021, around 100 Tenant Advocates from across NSW came together online for our annual Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services Conference, under the theme 'Forging Ahead'. It was a great opportunity for Tenant Advocates to hear from each other about the issues faced by different renters, and to learn, discuss and innovate in our practice. A main focus of the Conference this year was the huge challenges faced by renters due to COVID and the ongoing housing crisis, as well as how we can forge ahead and continue to improve.
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When renters organise, we can win! The plan to fix renting in Aotearea

Tue, 02/11/2021 - 12:41
when renters organise, we can win
We’re relaunching our Make Renting Fair campaign, and we want to explore alongside our community: what can we do to build a fairer renting system? What can we learn from successes overseas about how we can organise renters and win? This event is the second in our series and we're excited to announce we'll be hearing from Renters United, in Aotearoa, about their renter organising to make renting fair.
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End of fixed term evictions are unfair 'no grounds' evictions: Part 2

Mon, 01/11/2021 - 12:37
Person holding a cat. Quote reads "The biggest problem for me is the instability - feeling unable to make the property your own, your home" - Lauren
End of fixed term without a reason eviction is still without a reason. We explore different kinds of eviction and the best ways to understand them in this second part!
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End of fixed term evictions are unfair ‘no grounds’ evictions: Part 1

Mon, 01/11/2021 - 11:00
MRF Queensland: I spoke up for renters' rights. Online protest.
If you’ve been following the news about recent reforms to Queensland tenancy laws lately you’d be forgiven for thinking there had been a big win for renters we’d somehow missed or forgotten to celebrate. The ABC reported removing ‘eviction without grounds’ was among a raft of changes to the state’s rental laws successfully passed through Queensland Parliament, Channel 7 told its viewers the Queensland reforms would ‘stop evictions without grounds’. Did we miss something?!
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Appeal Panel says site fee increase is fixed method

Mon, 18/10/2021 - 14:15
Kincumber Nautical Village
The anticipation is over. The Appeal Panel of the Tribunal has handed down the decision in Kincumber Nautical Village Pty Ltd v Morris & Ors and it is not good news for home owners. The Appeal Panel allowed the appeal and set aside the original decision. In its reasons for the decision the Appeal Panel stated the principal issue in the appeal was whether a formula for calculating site fee increases, that is made up of a number of components, falls within the meaning of the term “a fixed method” in sections 65 and 66 of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013
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Further challenges for Margaret Reckless, champion campaigner

Mon, 18/10/2021 - 11:17
Margaret Reckless
In Outasite magazine (July 2021) we reported on Margaret’s ongoing saga with her operator who was busy pursuing a second attempt at terminating her site agreement at the Tribunal. This was happening in tandem with the threats addressed to “the home owner” from third party electricity retailer Humenergy. Humenergy, as we previously reported were invited by Silva Portfolios (operator of Ballina Waterfront Village - BWV) to run their embedded electricity network after Margaret had successfully fought against unlawful overcharging for electricity. That case went all the way to the Supreme Court of NSW.
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Port Stephens Council takes positive action on Development Application notifications

Mon, 18/10/2021 - 11:16
The Tenants’ Union has spoken with many land lease community home owners regarding proposed developments in their communities. Developments can range from small to large scale projects involving infrastructure installation, road repositioning and the relocation of sites and homes. All developments potentially impact the current residents however, those residents often only become aware of a development when work commences, and that is a cause of dismay and concern to many. Port Stephens Council has recognised this in an issue and has taken positive action.
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Through lockdowns, moratoriums and housing crises – inequality keeps growing

Thu, 30/09/2021 - 15:31
Like the COVID outbreak itself, the effects of lockdown are proving worse for people who are already disadvantaged. And housing is a key factor in this growing inequality. While overseas travellers isolate in hotels, and some people own homes spacious enough to be able to follow official guidelines on separate bedrooms and bathrooms, others face very different circumstances. Many renters are in overcrowded housing (Fairfield Champion) or temporary and unstable accommodation (ABC News) because that's all that's affordable in this rental market – this makes it much harder to protect against infection, and follow the lockdown rules. 
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Older women facing homelessness in Australia: from awareness to action

Thu, 30/09/2021 - 10:51
At Risk 2021 From awareness to action, aerial view of houses behind banner
On Friday, 17 September 2021 HAAG organised the online forum, ‘At Risk 2021 Forum’, hoping to move us on from an acknowledgement of the problem of older women and homelessness to real action to address it. The half day forum brought together advocates from across the housing and homelessness sector, researchers, journalists, decision makers and women with lived experience. In this short blog Robert Mowbray, the Tenants' Union's Older Renters' Project Officer, provides a summary of the highlights and key takeaways from the forum.
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