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Latest news and analysis

2016 Budget to deliver income management for Social Housing tenants?

21/06/2016
A few weeks ago we noted the NSW Government's continued interest in a Compulsory Rent Deduction Scheme for social housing tenants, as they took the idea to the recent Council of Australian Governments meeting.

Such a scheme would make it compulsory for tenants in social housing to have their rent taken from a social security payment and paid directly to the landlord. As we have noted many times before, such a scheme already exists, but it works on a voluntary basis. Direct rent deductions work for some people some of the time, but they won't work for all people all of the time. Making the use of such a scheme compulsory will produce awkward results.
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Tenants’ guide to tax reform

21/06/2016
Housing affordability is a key issue during the 2016 federal election. The presumed impact of reducing tax concessions for landlords has been a strong feature in media discussions, and in commentary from political parties and candidates. Most of these focus on the cost of housing to buy.

But how do negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts affect the private rental market?
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The rent (assistance) is too damn low

21/06/2016
The rent in Sydney is so high now that even historic pockets of affordability are way out of reach for people doing it tough. We might have been able to rely on public or social housing if supply had kept pace with the growing population, but it didn't.
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Happy anniversary, Residential Tenancies Act - part 4

21/06/2016
Six years ago today the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 became part of the law of New South Wales.

Part of the deal was that it must be reviewed after five years, to see whether its policy objectives remain valid, and its terms remain appropriate.

This statutory review of the Act commenced in late October 2015, with NSW Fair Trading inviting interested parties to contribute via a public discussion paper. They received in excess of 200 submissions - many of them from tenants. We produced our own submission, and have discussed it quite a bit on the Brown Couch as well.
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State Budget 2016: extra duties for foreign purchasers

21/06/2016
Announcements on new spending and policy are already finding their way out of Macquarie Street. One matter of some interest to tenants - and more than a few landlords, we bet - concerns changes to stamp duty payable by foreign purchasers.
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NSW Budget: Social Housing funding

21/06/2016
The Government will officially hand down the budget today, but much that will be of interest to us on the Brown Couch has already been revealed.
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Park resident advocate announced local woman of the year

12/05/2016
Christina
Residential park resident advocate Christina Steel was recently announced as Port Stephens ‘Local Woman of the Year’ by the Port Stephens MP Kate Washington. Christina is the president of the Port Stephens Park Residents Association and a long term and valued member of the Tenants’ Union Residential Parks Forum.
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Recently at NCAT

12/05/2016
NCAT
Since the commencement of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 on 1 November 2015 we have been keeping an eye on decisions coming out of NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to see how the various provisions are being interpreted. In this issue of Outasite Lite we report on an unpublished decision concerning assignment.
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Is age just a number?

12/05/2016
communities
Julie Lee, Tenants' Union Residential Parks Officer, reflects on the response she gave when recently delivering an information session to park residents about the new Act, when asked a question about a term of the site agreement restricting the sale of homes to people over a certain age.
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A win for park residents in court

09/05/2016
Outasite Lite article
Two permanent residents of Homestead Holiday Park (Gennacker Pty Ltd) on the Tweed River have finally won a lengthy court battle against their park owner. The park owner had given them a no-grounds notice of termination in 2012, and claimed the residents were not covered by the Residential Parks Act 1998 (then in force). The park owner argued instead that they were covered by the Holiday Parks (Long Term Casual Occupation) Act 2002. This would have left the residents facing immediate eviction.
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