Meet Jamie Love, Coordinator of WATAAS

WATAAS Tenant Advocates
WATAAS Tenant Advocates
This interview introduces Jamie Love, who recently started as Coordinator of the Western Aboriginal Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service (WATAAS). In the interview, Jamie talks about the challenges facing Aboriginal tenants and WATAAS, and some of the key things that need to change to get better service delivery for Aboriginal people.
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Make Renting Fair – community support growing

Make Renting Fair
Make Renting Fair is a new community campaign to end unfair evictions. Bringing together a strong coalition of local community organisations, unions, and faith based organisations, the Tenants Union of NSW and Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services are calling on the NSW State Government to make renting fair, and ensure renters in New South Wales are protected against unfair evictions.
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Energy and climate – Tenant News special edition

Tenant News 114
Energy bills. Most of us don’t look forward to getting them. They're often difficult to understand, but the worst part is looking to the spot in the bill where the dollars owed sit in heavy black numbers. This special edition of our magazine Tenant News focuses on energy and climate issues, from a renter's perspective. Many renters want to take action to reduce their energy use – for the climate as well as for the household budget – but are limited by the laws and structures of renting.
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The Granny Flat Trap

A granny flat
There can be hidden traps when renting granny flats.
Over the past six months the Southern Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service at Metro Assist has seen a steady influx of problems with granny flats. There can be hidden traps when renting granny flats. Firstly, if the granny flat is on the same electricity meter as the house, or there are two granny flats that share a meter, then the electricity bill should be in the name of the landlord, not the tenant.
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Sometimes you need help to get on the right track

Raymond Morris with WESTS coordinator Franya Repolusk
Raymond Morris with WESTS coordinator Franya Repolusk
Raymond Morris is a public housing tenant who's very active in his community – he's mentored and supported hundreds of people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Last year, Raymond put up a carport at his place to secure his car. However Housing NSW informed him that is was an illegal structure, ordered him to take it down, and also served him with an eviction notice. So Raymond got advice from the Western Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service (WESTS) and went to the Tribunal.
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New outreach service in Penrith

Muru Mittigar logo
The Western Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service (WESTS) will operate a new outreach service in Penrith every Wednesday, located at the Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural and Education Centre.
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Escaping an unsafe and insecure rental nightmare

Kellie and her son Elijah
Kellie & her son Elijah, Central Coast tenants
Kellie and her son Elijah are tenants on the Central Coast. At their previous place the landlord failed to abide by the agreement and renting laws in a number of ways. So Kellie got advice from Central Coast Tenants Advice and wrote to the landlord to assert her rights. She also went to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to seek compensation for the landlord’s failure to do repairs and an illegal lockout. Although she was unsuccessful at the Tribunal, Kellie did manage to get rehoused in a better place.
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Big win for Aboriginal family in Northern NSW

Aboriginal tenant advocate Brett Webb
Aboriginal tenant advocate Brett Webb
Last year an Aboriginal family in Coffs Harbour with seven kids had their lives disrupted by building work. The family was renting a house on a large block in northern NSW. The landlord decided to redevelop the land by building another house on the block.

The tenants were annoyed enough to apply to the Tribunal for compensation and rent reduction. The Tribunal made directions for exchange of evidence. The tenants obtained some advice from an Aboriginal TAAS (Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service) about the evidence needed.



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It's tough being a 'protected tenant'

Broken roof
A succession of landlords all flatly refused to do repairs on this protected premises. Water had been pouring through the ceiling just inside the front door for months.
We spoke with John, a protected tenant who has been living in his home in Randwick since 1978. We asked him about his experience in a protected tenancy and the ongoing issues he has faced around repairs. Recently the original landlord who John had entered into his tenancy with sold the building. The new owner tried unsuccessfully to evict John. John attributes his success in fighting the eviction in large part to the excellent support he received from a local tenant advocate from the Eastern Area Tenants Advice Service.
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Tenants' Union Annual Report 2015-2016 now online

The cover of the Tenant's Union Annual Report
This year the TU celebrated four decades of working for tenants’ rights. An anniversary such as this is an opportunity to celebrate achievements, acknowledge the many contributors to the journey and take a clear-eyed view on what still needs to be done. You can read more about how we celebrated this milestone in our Annual Report. The report also summarises the TU's activity over 2015-2016 across all our service areas.
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