Jenny Leong MP, NSW Greens Housing spokesperson has responded to the passing of the Residential Tenancies Act in Parliament today, praising some changes, but saying the new laws fail to give renters basic security of tenure by ending unfair no grounds evictions.
“Ending no-grounds evictions is the single most important reform that should have passed parliament today. As long as tenants can be legally evicted for no reason, this undermines all other protections included in the Bill,” NSW Greens Housing spokesperson, Jenny Leong MP said today.
“We know that landlords misuse this provision all the time, evicting tenants as retaliation for requesting repairs, or simply just to increase the rent. While the Bill has some improvements, none of these will be meaningful while tenants can be evicted for accessing their rights under the law.
“With over 2 million people now renting in NSW, including more families with kids than ever before, it’s so important that people know that they can stay in their home without the threat of an unfair eviction.
“There are some welcome changes to the rental laws that passed today, with 4 priorities of the Greens 10 Point Plan for Renters implemented.
“It’s really significant that rental properties now must meet a basic minimum standard – something that renters have been crying out for. However, it is perplexing that while a home must have a bathroom, there is no specific requirement for it to have a kitchen.
“Capping rent increases to once a year is a positive step, but given that a landlord can still increase the rent as much as they want after that 12 months, this does not offer enough of a brake on out of control rents.
“While the Minister talked about allowing tenants to make a house a home, there are no provisions to allow people to have pets. Our furry friends play a key role in the lives of so many families and individuals, but they will remain banned for a third of NSW households.
“Domestic violence provisions in the Bill, that finally offer flexibility and options for women escaping domestic violence are very welcome and a credit to those who have been advocating for these.
“It was so disappointing to see NSW Labor side with the Liberals and the Nationals to oppose all but one of the Greens twenty amendments to this legislation. The Greens have known for years we need serious rental reform and we have been committed to putting in the in depth work with experts and renters to make changes that will improve the lives of people who rent.
“Congratulations to all the people and organisations that are part of the Make Renting Fair and Everybody’s Home campaigns for all they have done to stand up for renters.
“The campaign to achieve all that’s needed continues.” Ms Leong said today.
The Greens 10 Point Plan for Renters Rights can be found here: www.rentersrights.org.au/10_point_plan