The big issues faced by renters today, plus a new bill on 'antisocial behaviour' in social housing, the Residential Tenancies Act review, rent 'caps', and more.
View this email in your browser

Tenant News #110 – The Big Picture

We've just finished the latest issue of our printed publication, Tenant News. It will be mailed out to many of you next week. (Email us if you'd like to subscribe or get extra copies – it's FREE!) Or read it online now. The focus of this issue is the big picture for renters today, and the growing need for change. Articles include:
  • The big issues faced by renters today
  • Global snaps: Tenants’ lives around the world
  • A place to call home: Housing security and mental health
  • Why strive for balance? The Residential Tenancies Act should protect tenants
  • Million dollar homes: Gentrification in residential parks
  • New face of poverty: Older private renters
  • Housing affordability: A joint statement
  • Land tax: The fairest tax on earth
  • Politicians’ love of real estate
  • Tenancy Q&A: Repairs
Read Tenant News #110 online now.

Residential Tenancies Act review

The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 is now five years old. This means that the Act is in line for its statutory review. The responsible Minister, the Hon. Victor Dominello, is to undertake this review, and has 12 months to table his report.

The Tenants' Union has just completed a report which highlights the provisions in the Act that are working well, and ought to be retained, as well as those that require amendment to promote fairness, security and stability for tenants. Six key themes underpin our comments on the Act:
  1. Housing insecurity is a feature of the Act, because landlords can end tenancies without a reason.
  2. Landlords' repairs and maintenance obligations can be difficult to enforce.
  3. Rent and utility charges are an important part of any housing transaction, and disputes about payment should always be simple to resolve.
  4. Regulation of residential tenancy databases should remain a high priority for government.
  5. The changing profile of tenants makes it critical to ensure share-housing and co-tenancy provisions are effective and appropriate.
  6. Occupancy principles should be adapted and expanded to ensure renters who are not covered by the Act have rights.
Check out our report online: 5 Years of the Residential Tenancies Act 2015
Or, for a summary, read our blog post: Happy Anniversary Residential Tenancies Act

News and analysis from the Brown Couch

Here are some highlights from the last couple of months on the Tenants' Union blog, The Brown Couch:
  • The NSW Government is introducing a bill relating to crime and antisocial behaviour in social housing. We have some serious concerns about their proposals: Making villains homeless with a 'one strike' eviction rule.
  • In honour of Homelessness Prevention Week, we look at how Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services are stepping up to end homelessness in Australia.
  • We argue that an increase in the GST would hurt low-income renters more than most: GST hit-ups stifle more valuable conversation.
  • Following housing affordability discussions and recent changes in Berlin and New York, we discuss rent 'controls' and 'caps' in Caps, Controls and CPI.
  • “I feel good about myself because I’m doing something for the community. When you look how far we’ve got and how others have listened to us, it’s wonderful" says a Macarthur Animation Program participant. We review two new resources about working collaboratively with social housing tenants, published by St Vincent de Paul: There is no one above us.
  • The Animal Welfare League Australia is running a competition to find Australia's most pet friendly landlord. We make our own nomination: the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, who for many years have had the practice of allowing pets as standard: Pet Friendly Landlords.

Still banging! But we need your help.

For the last six months, the campaign for More Bang For Your Bond has been growing and growing – thanks to all those who have been involved and taken action so far! We are now aiming to take this campaign to NSW Parliament House in October. But we need your help to make this a campaign that the MPs and other decision-makers will really notice. Can you help us reach 1,000 postcards and 1,000 online signatures? Please sign the online petition now! So far, we have: Here's what we need you to do: invite your friends, colleagues, clients and neighbours to like us like us on Facebook, fill in a postcard and sign the online petition. If you'd like some postcards to distribute, just email us.

And stay tuned for more details about our presentation to Parliament!
Sign the online petition
Like us on Facebook
Email us to get some postcards
Please note that we are in the process of changing all our email addresses to
Tenants' Union Facebook
Tenants' Union Twitter
Tenants NSW Website
You're receiving this email because you are on the Tenants' Union e-bulletin list. We send out regular updates about our work and news of interest to tenant advocates, tenant activists and community workers.

For tenancy advice, contact your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service. See

Legal information in this email is intended as a guide to the law and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. It applies to people who live in or are affected by, the law as it applies in New South Wales, Australia.

Tenants' Union of NSW, Suite 201, 55 Holt St, Surry Hills, 2010, NSW. (02) 8117 3700

Copyright © 2015 Tenants' Union of NSW, All rights reserved.

Forward this email to a friend
Update your subscription preferences
Unsubscribe from all Tenants' Union emails