Rental properties are people’s homes – but too often they are used as a way for dodgy landlords to maximise their returns, at the expense of people’s security and safety.
This needs to change – we need to balance the rights of renters with the interests of landlords. Both landlords and tenants benefit from stability and certainty.
Are you a renter? Let us know if you've been evicted from a property for no reason.
According to 2011 Census data (the most recent figures available) around one-third of NSW households live in rented properties.
We know that being a renter, dealing with the challenges around finding a place to rent, putting in requests for maintenance and coping with the threat of constantly having to move, all have a serious impact on the well-being of people, families and communities.
The Greens' 'Standing Up for Renters' campaign was launched in early 2015 by Jenny Leong, Senator Scott Ludlum the Australian Greens Housing spokesperson and Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker, in recognition of the need to update tenancy laws to reflect the increase in long-term renting, especially in inner Sydney suburbs.
The Greens are working to:
- Increase security of tenure by ending 'no grounds' evictions
- Allow rent increases only once per year
- Allow annual rent increases at no more than CPI (around 2-3% per year)
The NSW Residential Tenancies Act will be reviewed in 2016, bringing an opportunity for real reform of NSW rental laws. The Greens want to make sure the voices of people who rent their homes are heard.
You can read The Greens' submission to the Discussion Paper on the Review of the Residential Tenancies Act here.
NSW rental laws need to be considered in the context of the housing affordability crisis that's affecting many Australian households. Rising housing costs are placing immense stress on many households, forcing people to move away from their networks and communities, and giving many people no choice but to put up with substandard accommodation.
Changes also need to be made at a Federal level to address our national housing crisis. The Australian Greens have released initiatives to end Capital Gains Tax discounts and reform negative gearing. We need to change the current unfair tax laws that have locked entire generations of Australians out of home ownership and affordable, stable rents.
Many renters recently told us their 'Rental Horror Stories', painting a bleak picture of on-going issues with lack of maintenance, unfair rent increases, and inevitable eviction at the end of a lease if they spoke up to enforce their rights. These stories - and the issues they raise about security, rights and responsibilities - have been covered by a range of media outlets, including The Guardian and ABC News Breakfast.
The Greens are calling for reform that allows renters to enforce their legal rights without fear of repercussions, ensures that renting is affordable and offers more security to renters.
- NSW Parliamentary Research Paper - Private rental housing and security of tenure (October 2015)
- NSW Fair Trading - Statutory Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010: Discussion Paper (October 2015)
- Tenants Union of NSW - 5 Years of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 in NSW (July 2015)
- The Australian Greens - Renters Rights