Articles on tenancy laws

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Uncapped rent increases and ‘no grounds’ evictions leave older women particularly at risk of substandard housing conditions or even homelessness. Shutterstock

Life as an older renter, and what it tells us about the urgent need for tenancy reform

Proposed changes to NSW rental tenancy law are an improvement, but do not end the excessive rent increases and "no grounds" evictions that put renters – and older women in particular – at risk.
The right of landlords to terminate a lease with no grounds is the most serious deficiency in residential tenancy laws in New South Wales. Shutterstock

An open letter on rental housing reform

Residential tenancy reforms are before the NSW parliament, but a key reform is missing. In this open letter, housing academics call for an end to landlords' power to terminate leases with 'no grounds'.
Public housing tenants are much more likely than renters in other sectors to struggle to get repair and maintenance done. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Tenants’ calls for safe public housing fall on deaf ears

Grenfell Tower residents tragically got the world's attention only after a disastrous fire. So what would public housing residents in Australia say about their living conditions?
Any attempt to improve security for tenants should not deprive them, or their landlords, of the flexibility that many also want. David Crosling/AAP

Rental insecurity: why fixed long-term leases aren’t the answer

Any attempt to improve security for tenants should not deprive them, or their landlords, of the flexibility that many also want. The key problem is landlords' ability to give notice without a reason.
Only Tasmania and South Australia have introduced legislation that provides for minimum standards in rental properties. Huguette Roe from www.shutterstock.com

Dickensian approach to residential tenants lingers in Australian law

With tenancy laws under review, a ruling that landlords must maintain residential premises in good repair even if dilapidated is hailed as a 'landmark' decision. That tells us reform is needed.
In countries where many if not most households have pets, ‘no pets’ rental policies are a serious obstacle to housing security. Mike Hoff/flickr

As pet owners suffer rental insecurity, perhaps landlords should think again

Landlords and property agents often apply 'no pets' rules even though many households see them as part of the family. Their difficulty in finding rental housing then becomes a source of great stress.
For many people, renting is preferable to buying, but many of Australia’s institutions don’t reflect that choice. April Fonti/AAP

Renting for life? Housing shift requires rethink of renters’ rights

Australia is the world capital for property speculation. Australians play property like Monopoly: buying, selling, demolishing, rebuilding, extending, renovating, always with the promise of appreciation…
The proportion of renters is now roughly equal to the numbers of outright home owners. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Home equity: Australia’s growing wealth divide

For all our talk about housing affordability, few people want house prices to drop. That’s because most Australians are home owners, and much of our wealth is stored in housing. But recent figures released…

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