Communications and resources 2017-2018
Communications and resources 2017-2018
The Tenants’ Union produces a range of accurate and accessible materials on tenancy law and related matters. Our resources are widely used and respected – hundreds of thousands of tenants and community workers access them every year.
This year the TU conducted a survey of people who subscribe to our range of online and print resources. We had 276 responses – a high response rate, representing over 10% of all subscribers. Key findings include:
- 70% regularly visit tenants.org.au
- 97% said the resources are important because they provide information on the legal rights of renters and residents of land lease communities
- 97% said the resources are important for staying up to date with changes in the law
- 94% said the resources are important for their analysis of law and policy
- 93% said the resources are important for their research on renter and park resident issues
- 90% rated the work of the Tenants’ Union as good or excellent
New publications this year include:
- Tenant News #115: Special edition – public and community housing
- Tenant News special bulletin: David and Goliath – One tenant’s 14 year battle for repairs. This bulletin reported on the landmark public housing repairs case, Bott v NSW Land & Housing Corporation
- Information Sheets: Warrants for Possession in Tenancy Law and The Gap in NCAT’s jurisdiction.
- Suite of resources for Aboriginal tenants developed in consultation with Aboriginal Tenancy Services including: Rent strikes v repairs, Understanding your tenancy agreement and Interstate referral guide for Aboriginal tenants
We continued to publish our Rent Tracker series, which brings together multiple sources of information in order to give tenants, journalists and decision-makers a clear and easy way to understand rent movements in NSW. Rent Tracker had 785 page-views with 50 percent of visitors continuing to other pages on the site.
We launched our new Rent Tracker Postcode Tool enabling tenants to check the latest rent data for any postcode or region in NSW using data directly from the Rental Bond Board. The tool is kept up to date with the data release by NSW Fair Trading each month. Tenants can use the tool to see how many bonds have been lodged in the previous three months and what the range of rents was based on dwelling type and bedroom number which gives insight in working out what they might save or lose in moving to different areas, or disputing rent increases. We continue to develop and improve this tool.
Residential Land Lease Communities
This year three issues of Outasite Lite e-bulletin were published, reaching approximately 800 subscribers and covering a review of legal developments in 2017, oral contracts and electricity usage charges.
We published one issue of Outasite, our print publication for land lease community home owners. 5,700 copies were distributed to subscribers across NSW. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with one reader calling it “Pulitzer worthy”.
Tenants rights online
Engagement with tenants.org.au is substantial with 858,753 unique sessions – a modest increase on 2016-2017.
The factsheets were downloaded or viewed 819,826 times.
The most popular factsheets were:
- You want to leave (Factsheet 9)
- Residential Tenancies Act (Factsheet 1)
- Bond (Factsheet 3)
- Repairs and Maintenance (Factsheet 6)
- Landlord ends agreement (Factsheet 10)
The online Tenants Rights Manual, hosted by the State Library of New South Wales, recorded 114,945 page views, an increase of approximately 50 percent over two years.
The Legal Information Access Centre of the Library continues to partner with us in distributing print resources to libraries across the State. Our Executive Officer is a Board Member.
Tenants’ Union e-bulletin
The number of subscribers to our Tenants’ Union e-bulletin continues to grow, increasing from 1,252 in June 2016 to 1,536 in June 2018, an increase of approximately 25 percent over two years. This is in keeping with the observed trend for individuals and organisations to engage increasingly with more regular digital information platforms. Seven issues of the e-bulletin were published. Content included quizzes for improving tenancy knowledge, tenancy rights in group homes, boarding houses, apartment safety, the work of Tenant Advocates, key legal decisions, repairs in public housing, NSW Budget analysis, bond insurance products, energy and climate issues, the ‘Make Renting Fair’ campaign, rent tracker, and the NSW rental crisis.
Tenants’ Union on social media
Our presence on social media continues to grow, with 4,246 likes on the main Tenants’ Union Facebook page at end of June 2017, increasing by 548 over the financial year. Our Twitter account had 1,986 followers at the end of June 2017.
On the Brown Couch Blog, we posted 30 times and saw 6,735 unique visits in 2017-2018.