Community support for fair laws

Unfair evictions hurt us all

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 have called upon the NSW State Government to make renting fair, and ensure renters in New South Wales are protected against unfair evictions.

Last year a statutory review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 identified short-term, insecure tenancy agreements as a major issue for renters in New South Wales. But the review recommended no change be made to provisions in the Act that allow landlords to end tenancies without a good reason.

For the growing number of people who rent in New South Wales, this is hard to believe. A number of community , union and faith based organisations have joined together in a coalition to Make Renting Fair.

The statutory review recommended some other changes to our renting laws, but amending legislation has not yet been put to the NSW Parliament. That means there's still time to let our elected representatives know that when these laws do change, they should Make Renting Fair!

 

Visit the Make Renting Fair website to find out more.

Check out the diverse range of organisations who want to Make Renting Fair.

Read stories from renters who have been unfairly evicted, and others who are worried that they will be.

Sign the petition and share your story to help Make Renting Fair.

 

Claire's story Read Claire's story here.

Penny's story Read Penny's story here.

 

Make Renting Fair Visit the Make Renting Fair website to find out more.

Over 2 million people, or over a third of all households rent their homes in NSW. Many of these are families – over half of single parent families and third of couples with children are now renting in the private rental market. Renters face great uncertainty and constant upheaval due to the lack of security they face in the private rental market.

What does ‘lack of security’ look like in practice?

· Renters get evicted unfairly

A significant number of renters are evicted unfairly, some for simply asking for repairs or questioning a rent increase. Others because of discrimination or where the landlord had decided they just don’t like them. It is very hard for a renter to challenge this kind of unfair eviction.

· Renters don’t complain

Lack of security means renters are much less likely to assert their rights because they are worried about repercussions. When the Tenants’ Union of NSW surveyed tenants in 2014, more than three quarters of respondents told us they had put up with a problem, or declined to assert their rights, because they were worried about an adverse consequence.

· Renters are forced to move more often.

One in three renters are likely to have moved home in the last year, and even more (closer to 40%) have moved three or more times in the past 5 years. Many of them – again around a third of renters – are moving because they have been forced to do so, and often face significant personal, social and financial costs as a result. When they are evicted renters talk about the impact in terms of being hit with huge moving costs, having to pay higher rent in their next property, and being forced to move further and further away from work and family each time they are evicted.

For vulnerable tenants – those on low incomes or with complex needs - the consequences can be grim. They may be forced to accept less stable, less secure, unsuitable or substandard accommodation. They are at a much higher risk of being evicted directly into homelessness.

What can be done?

We call on the NSW Government to improve security for renters in NSW by requiring landlords to provide a good reason if they want to evict someone from their home.

Currently in NSW renters can be evicted without being given a reason (‘no grounds’ termination) under sections 84 and 85 of the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

We call on the NSW Government to remove these provisions in the Act, and in their place provide landlords with an expanded list of ‘reasonable grounds’ for ending an agreement. This would require landlords to be transparent about their reasons for ending a tenancy, and give renters the chance to challenge an unfair eviction.

Visit the Make Renting Fair website to find out more.