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Latest news and analysis

Appeal Panel says site fee increase is fixed method

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 and home owner

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

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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Older women facing homelessness in Australia: from awareness to action

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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NEWTAAS Annual Report 2021

NEWTAAS Advocates
New England and Western Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service works in our region to increase access to the legal system for the most disadvantaged people in the communities we serve; help clients be better informed of their tenancy rights and responsibilities and the options available to them; refer clients to other services when our Service is not able to assist them with their issue; work towards a more just, equitable and accessible society for all people; and ensure staff in our Service maintain high standards of professional conduct and service delivery.
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New podcast series – Renting Matters!

renting matters
Renting Matters is a series of podcasts produced by the Tenants’ Union of NSW and Legal Aid NSW. The series is part of Legal Aid NSW's Law for Community Workers on the go – which keeps community workers up-to-date with legal topics and changes to the law – and has clocked up over 69 episodes with 23,000 downloads and counting. Renting Matters features tenants and workers from across the Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service Network, the Tenants' Union and the community sector. In a relaxed, conversational style, guests share anecdotes, information and tips designed for busy people. We would love you to listen and subscribe via your preferred podcast platform, and share the podcast with friends and colleagues!
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Register for the Make Renting Fair campaign relaunch: When renters organise, we can win!

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

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.

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

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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