Not being able to access energy efficient homes is just one way in which our unfair renting laws harm tenants. If tenants knew that they would be able to stay in their homes long term, they would be more likely to take steps to improve energy efficiency. They would also be able to make decisions like jointly investing in solar panels and be more confident in identifying and reporting problem areas such as drafts or aging and inefficient heating systems.
Along with more than 80 other organisations, the Tenants’ Union has launched a new campaign to address a fundamental issue with renting laws in NSW. Landlords have the ability to terminate a tenancy without having to give a reason – this doesn’t just make for some unfair evictions, it interferes with all other aspects of renting. Tenants are cautious about enforcing their rights, even around energy costs, because it is too easy for a landlord to avoid their responsibilities by removing the tenant from the property. This is a valid concern, as Jeremy’s story demonstrates.
The Make Renting Fair campaign calls for the removal of so called ‘no grounds’ notices, and to replace them with an expanded list of ‘reasonable grounds’ which a landlord can use if they legitimately need the property back. This is a very simple change, and will bring NSW more in line with the experience of tenants across the world – Australia is one of only five countries which allows these unfair evictions.
You can support the campaign by visiting rentingfair.org.au to find out more, read our stories and share your own. Make sure to sign the petition and tell a friend! Over time we will have many opportunities for people to be involved, so please sign up for regular email updates! Organisations can show their support for the campaign at rentingfair.org.au/supporters
“Anything else you’re trying to do in your life – you just have to put it on hold. Everything else stops while you try to work out where you’ll be living.”
Penny received a $100 per week rent increase notice which she thought was excessive. She tried to negotiate with the landlord. In response she received an email telling her she was being evicted.
Read the rest of Penny's story
”I wasn’t only losing my home, they were divorcing me from my community and all the people I’d formed relationships with where I had lived.”
Claire had been living in her home on the coast just north of Wollongong for 6 years when her landlord knocked on the door one afternoon early last December to tell her she had to move out. The flat is now advertised on AirBnB for $259 a night.
Read the rest of Claire's story
“We stood up to the landlord, that’s the real reason we were evicted”
Jeremy and his partner received a 'no-grounds' eviction after they challenged the landlord over excessive rent and a requirement to pay for electricity used in a communal area.
Read the rest of Jeremy's story
Find out more about the Make Renting Fair campaign, sign the petition, and share your story at rentingfair.org.au.