The NSW Government is in the process of reviewing our rental laws.
The NSW Greens have made a submission to the rental reform consultation paper, pushing for an immediate two year freeze on rents, unlimited rent increases to be made illegal, a massive investment in public and affordable housing, as well as an end to unfair evictions, renters rights to pets and protections for renters' data and privacy.
The Greens believe that housing is a human right, and that the government has a responsibility to ensure everyone has a safe, secure and affordable place to call home. Renting should be about providing someone with a place to call home, not a way for wealthy investors to make more profit.
The Greens welcome indications that the NSW Labor Government will consider action on excessive rent increases, but a consultation paper won’t pay the rent. Renters need a freeze on rent increases while this longer-term reform is implemented.
Commenting on the NSW Labor Government’s rental reform consultation paper released today, Jenny Leong Member for Newtown and Greens NSW Spokesperson for Renters’ Rights and Housing said:
“The Greens welcome that the NSW Labor Government is coming to the table with reforms to make renting more affordable and secure - reforms that the Greens have been pushing on for years.
“The Greens and renters are ready to fight the powerful real estate and developer lobby that will no doubt be ready to stop reforms from undermining their profits.
“Ending unfair, no grounds evictions and allowing pets in rentals are long-overdue reforms that would give renters desperately needed security.
“But we need to ensure that no-grounds evictions are ended for all renters on all leases - including renters at the end of a fixed term lease.
“Any action on excessive rent increases need to include longer-term rent controls to ensure we are bringing down the record-high rent costs and actually making renting affordable.
“Dealing with rent increases isn’t a data or information sharing exercise - renters know when their rent increase is excessive, what they need is clear limits on what a rent increase can be.
“The Greens want to make unlimited rent increases illegal, establish rent caps, and put hard limits on the amount and frequency of rent increases.
“But a consultation paper won’t pay the rent and renters are in crisis right now. We need to freeze rent increases for as long as these reforms take to be considered.
“The Greens Emergency Rent Freeze Bill is before NSW Parliament right now - we could have this in place within the month if the NSW Labor Government backed it in.
“Across the country the Greens are standing with renters and pushing state and federal governments to go further and faster on rental reform.
“With rent caps now being seriously considered in NSW, a rent freeze not ruled out in Victoria yesterday, and renter’s rights pushed onto the national cabinet agenda - it’s clear a rent freeze is possible. ”
The cost of rent is out of control, evictions are on the rise, and too many renters are just one rent hike away from homelessness.
This is a crisis, and it requires an urgent, emergency response.
The Greens have introduced an Emergency Rent Freeze Bill that would freeze rents for two years - to press pause on skyrocketing rent increases, relieve renters from the stress of worrying about unfair rent hikes, and keep people in their homes.
A freeze on rents isn’t only possible, it’s urgently necessary. We need to make renting secure and affordable.
But every day the government refuses to act is another day that renters face eviction because of an unfair rent hike they can’t afford.
Will you sign now to call on the government to freeze rents now?
Add your name and call on the NSW Parliament to take urgent action to fix the rental crisis, including:
- Freeze and cap rents
- End unfair evictions
- Allow pets in rentals
- Ban rent bidding and intrusive rental applications
- Massively invest in public, social, and affordable housing
The government has proposed laws that experts are warning would entrench rental auctions and further drive up the already sky-high cost of rent.
Renters deserve a secure and affordable place to live - not to be pitted against each other just to secure a roof over their head.
But the government’s proposed legislation would take us backwards and make NSW the first state to legally entrench rental auctions.
It’s not too late to fix these bad laws, but we need to show the government that people want them changed.
Will you sign the petition to ban rent bidding and say no to rental auctions?
Add your name and call on the NSW Labor Government to:
- Abandon reforms that would entrench rent auctions in NSW;
- Ban all rent biding.
Rent bidding must be banned alongside genuine protections for renters including ending no grounds evictions, freezing and controlling rents, and banning intrusive rental applications.
Commenting on reports today that the NSW Fair Trading Minister is looking into reform that would ban rent bidding, Greens spokesperson for Housing and Renters and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP said:
“Rent bidding should absolutely be banned, but we don’t need an investigation to tell us what we already know – dodgy agents and landlords are exploiting and profiting from the rental crisis.
“Conversations with people on the street, and endless stories in the news, show us just how bad the power imbalance between renters and their real estate agent or landlords has gotten.
“This is not a new problem and the Liberal Nationals have had 11 years in power to fix the rental crisis, instead they have ignored the renters in their communities and prioritised the interests of investors, real estate agents, and landlords.
“The Greens welcome the government’s focus on banning rent bidding, but let’s not hide under the cover of an investigation when we know it’s a problem right now.
“Every single day renters are being hit with massive rent increases they’re too fearful to negotiate or treading on eggshells to ask for basic repairs because of the threat of being evicted.
“At a time when more people are renting than ever before, and for longer, we need to fix the conditions that have made chronic insecurity part and parcel of renting.
“The Greens had a bill that would have addressed the crisis faced by renters, but Labor and Liberal shamefully teamed up to block it.
“Rent bidding must be banned alongside genuine protections for renters including ending no grounds evictions, freezing and controlling rents, and banning intrusive rental applications.”
The rental crisis will not get better without a freeze on rents and an end to unfair, no grounds evictions.
Data released today in the Annual Rental Affordability Index shows that rental affordability is worse than ever before, and people are struggling to make ends meet between the soaring cost of rent, food and electricity.
Greens spokesperson for Housing and Renters, and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP said:
“Politicians cannot continue to sit on their hands and ignore the renters in their community who are being forced to make the difficult choice between rent they can’t afford or eviction.
“The rental crisis isn’t going to get better until we freeze rents and get them under control, end unfair no grounds evictions, and stop the special treatment of landlords and investors profiting from the housing crisis.
“Renting in Sydney is now considered “critically unaffordable” and it’s snowballing into regional communities, as more and more people are driven out of the city and into the regions.
“No one should have to choose between paying their rent, putting food on the table, paying their bills on time, or getting Christmas presents for their families.
“Just weeks ago, the Greens pushed to end no grounds evictions and give renters security by Christmas but it was shamefully blocked by the Liberal Government and NSW Labor.
“Leaving renters to struggle with astronomically high rents and minimal protections is a political choice, and it’s time for politicians to work together to genuinely fix the rental crisis ,” Ms Leong said.
The Greens are calling on the NSW Government to take immediate action on the pervasive use of third party rental services.
Greens MP and Housing Spokesperson Jenny Leong said:
“Renters need urgent protections from third party services who are preying on and profiting off the housing crisis.
“Reports today that third party rental services could be actively facilitating rent bidding, and contributing to the soaring cost of rent, are deeply disturbing.
“And we know from the countless stories from renters in our community that these third party services regularly try to sell additional, and unnecessary, services like background checks to profit off renters desperation.
“Alarm bells should be ringing that these third party services have an immense amount of power, and an immense amount of personal information.
“Too often renters are given no choice but to hand over huge amounts of personal information, dating back years, to these services just to be considered for a rental property.
“Renting in NSW is stressful enough, without the added - and very legitimate – fears around personal information that recent high profile data breaches have exposed.
“The NSW Government needs to step in and take immediate action to review, regulate and provide much needed oversight to the pervasive use of third party rental services.
“We need to ban rent bidding, stop intrusive rental applications, and massively strengthen renters' data protections.”
Just days after committing to ending no grounds evictions, NSW Labor have teamed up with the Liberal National Government to block the Greens bill to end no grounds evictions.
Greens and Independent MP’s voted in NSW Parliament this afternoon for the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Prohibiting No Grounds Evictions) Bill 2022 to be urgently brought on for debate and voted on before the end of the year.
Greens spokesperson for Renters Rights and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP said:
“NSW Labor are telling renters one thing and doing another by refusing to support a push in Parliament that could end no grounds evictions by Christmas.
“Labor’s election announcement is cold comfort for renters in this state who will spend the next six months in chronic housing insecurity waiting on an election promise that may never be delivered.
“Every month we delay means thousands more renters will face rent hikes they’re too scared to negotiate, evictions because they’re asking for repairs, or be forced to move out of their home for no reason.
“Ending no grounds evictions is not controversial. We know from housing experts and tenant advocates that it is a simple and long overdue reform, and the reality is renters simply cannot afford to wait for a potential NSW Labor Government for desperately needed housing security.
“When it comes to addressing the cost of living crisis, election promises won’t pay the bills. Ending no grounds evictions is an immediate thing that would relieve the pressure on skyrocketing rents.
“The Greens back renters and will vote for renters rights every MP, every vote, every time.”
Name of Bill: Residential Tenancies Amendment (Prohibiting No Grounds Evictions) Bill 2022
Introduced by: Jenny Leong MP, Greens Housing Spokesperson
Date of second reading speech in Parliament: 13 October 2022
Residential Tenancies Amendment (Prohibiting No Grounds Evictions) Bill 2022
Jenny Leong MP has introduced a bill to NSW Parliament to end no grounds evictions and set out the reasonable grounds by which an eviction can occur to tackle the escalating rental crisis.
One of the biggest issues for renters in NSW is a lack of stability. While rental laws in other countries have been set up to provide long term security for tenants, in NSW many renters don't know where they'll be living from year to year.
Currently at the end of a rental agreement, which are usually for just six or twelve months, a landlord can tell a tenant that they have to move out of their home without providing any reason, even if the tenant has met all of their responsibilities and paid the rent on time.
Data released by the Tenants Union in February 2022 estimates that evictions cost the average renter more than $4,000 and up to 30% of renters will face an eviction, through no fault of their own. NCAT data for 2021-22 shows that in the private rental market, landlords make 70% of applications to NCAT including eviction claims against tenants.
Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania have all moved to end no grounds evictions including. The UK Conservative Party pledged to end “no-fault” evictions in 2019.
Residential Tenancies Amendment (Prohibiting No Grounds Evictions) Bill 2022
The Greens bill sets out the grounds by which a lease can be terminated as:
- The landlord, or close family member or the landlord, intends to live in the property for more than 12 months;
- The landlord intends to carry out renovations or repairs that will make the property uninhabitable for a period of more than 4 weeks and all necessary permits/approvals have been acquired;
- The premises will be used in a way, or kept in a state, that it cannot be used as a residence for at least 6 months;
- Other grounds prescribed by regulations set out by the Minister.
The bill would also empower the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to compensate tenants if a landlord breaches the grounds of an eviction, including:
- Directing the landlord to use the property as per the grounds set out in the eviction; and/or
- Reinstating a Residential Tenancies Agreement to tenants wrongfully evicted; and/or
- Paying compensation to a tenant to cover the costs associated with a wrongful eviction.
Renters are being hit with massive rent costs, unfair eviction notices and bearing the brunt of the housing crisis.
While landlords and investors continue to get special treatment and profit off the housing crisis - more and more renters are being forced to choose between rent they can’t afford or face eviction.
But it doesn’t have to be this way - people who rent deserve stability, decent living conditions, and affordable rent.
The Greens are committed to cutting rents, ending unfair, no grounds evictions, and fixing the rental crisis. We need politicians to stop sitting on their hands and listen to the renters in their community.
Will you take 5 minutes to share your experience renting so we can show politicians the real stories behind the rental crisis?
If you are currently dealing with an eviction, rental increase, or other rental issue and need advice, please get in touch with your local Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service for support: https://www.tenants.org.au/tu/about/contactsTake the survey