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Latest news and analysis

Can an owners corporation legally mandate vaccination in a strata community?

27/09/2021
Strata apartment block shot from below, blue sky surrounds the block.
Recently, a residential complex in Sydney informed residents it would be requiring that all persons entering the building must be vaccinated, which raises the question can an owners corporation mandate vaccination for residents of an apartment building (owners and tenants)? In this blog Lehana De Silva, Tenants' Union of NSW, and Justin Abi Daher, Marrickville Legal Centre, look at the issue of vaccine mandating in strata communities from a legal perspective.

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The high risks faced by international student renters in Australia.

14/09/2021
Student housing sign, white text against blue background on wall Credit: @billsoPHOTO
International students in Australia make a huge contribution to the economy and the community. They also face serious struggles and hardships. Finding and keeping rental accommodation is one of the major hidden risks they face. COVID-19 has made it even riskier. Professor Alan Morris and colleagues recently undertook significant research about international students' experience in the private rental sector in Australia prior to and during the pandemic. In this interview, Paul van Reyk, Senior Project Officer with the Tenant’s Union, talks with Alan about the recent research.
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Tenants' Union NSW welcomes extension of moratorium and an increased Residential Tenancy Support Payment

06/09/2021
text reads: moratorium extended. Extension of eviction restrictions to 11 November and further rental support for impacted renters accounced
The Tenants' Union NSW welcomes the NSW Government's announcement the current eviction moratorium will continue until 11 November. This sits alongside an increase of an additional $1,500 to the available Residential Tenancy Support Payment, taking the available maximum payment to $4,500 to help reduce rents for struggling households as NSW's lockdown continues. Once the moratorium lifts, transitional protections will be put in place to ensure renters are able to negotiate a reasonable payment plan, and are protected from eviction for any debt built up during the moratorium period.
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Housing crisis in regional NSW: What can be done?

02/09/2021
Text reads Housing crisis in regional NSW, What can be done? TUNSW submission, image: http://www.freepik.com">Designed by Freepik
Recently the Tenants’ Union of NSW provided a submission to the NSW Regional Housing Taskforce. Regional NSW is in the midst of housing crisis, and its impact is being felt particularly by households who rent their homes. In our submission we provide data on the record low vacancy rates and the sharp increases in market rent in the private rental sector; identify a number of key drivers of this trend, and outline the various ways in which the crisis is being experienced by renters. Key recommendations include delivery of social and affordable housing in regional NSW, and reform to NSW tenancy law.
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Outasite – land lease community magazine

24/08/2021
Outasite cover
The Tenants' Union has just published Outasite – our annual printed publication for land lease communities! It has been delivered to mailboxes in communities all over NSW. This issue includes articles on electricity in land lease communities, the Review of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act, Local Government regulations impact on home owners, site fee increase methods, and more...
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Light at the end of the tunnel?

24/08/2021
Ros
The long-running dispute over electricity charges in land lease communities continues. Just over 12 months ago we became aware of, and reported on, operators relinquishing their right to on-sell electricity to home owners and passing that responsibility to Hum Energy, or another energy retailer. At that time the Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW (EWON) and NSW Fair Trading had both determined that neither the operator nor Hum Energy had broken any rules or laws regarding this arrangement. However, some home owners were resisting the transfer and the Tenants’ Union was working with Tenants Advice & Advocacy Services and the Tweed Residential Park Homeowners Association (TRPHA) regarding options for those home owners to resolve their disputes. We can now report on two developments.
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Review overview

24/08/2021
Outasite logo
At the end of 2020 the NSW Government released the Discussion Paper on the Statutory Review of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013. Individuals and organisations were invited to provide feedback via a survey on the NSW Fair Trading website or by making a submission. Consultation was initially scheduled to close on 26/02/2021 but the deadline was extended to 12/03/2021.
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Reckless retaliation?

24/08/2021
Margaret
Many Outasite readers will know the name Margaret Reckless. She is the home owner whose name was given to the method to calculate electricity charges for home owners on embedded electricity networks because Margaret’s dispute with her operator went right up to the Supreme Court of NSW. The decision of the Supreme Court on 4 September 2018 in Silva Portfolios Pty Ltd trading as Ballina Waterfront Village & Tourist Park v Reckless [2018] NSWSC 1343 defined the parameters for electricity charges. When the dispute went back to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to determine exactly how the charges should be calculated, the ‘Reckless’ method was born.
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Community by definition

24/08/2021
Emma
In the vast majority of land lease community cases that we encounter, it is generally clear and accepted by all parties that there is a land lease community in operation and subsequently that the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 (RLLC Act) applies to the relationship between operator and home owner.
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Damage, loss and abandonment

24/08/2021
Flooding
A number of land lease communities were impacted by the floods in the Mid North Coast in March 2021. Some homes in those communities were significantly damaged by flood waters, leaving home owners unable to sell their homes to incoming prospective purchasers.
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