In holiday destinations like Eden and Batemans Bay and Jindabyne, renters are a third of the population, but those families are at risk of being kicked out of their homes over the summer months because our rental laws don’t offer enough protection.
Renters in holiday towns are particularly vulnerable, because they can be served an eviction notice at the start of the summer or the snow season, so the landlord can temporarily jack up process and let the house at an inflated rate to holiday makers. This is totally unfair, but under current laws, it is perfectly legal.
Greens MP and Housing spokesperson Jenny Leong says that renters have been forgotten in the housing affordability debate, and that reform of our rental laws is desperately needed.
The Greens will propose amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to give renters more security when the Act is reviewed by Parliament later this year.
“Many people who rent live in fear of being thrown out of their home, even when they pay rent on time and look after the property. These laws are unfair and out of date,” Ms Leong said.
“The review of NSW rental laws that is currently underway offers an opportunity to give renters more security and stability. Ending no grounds evictions is an immediate step that can be taken to help renters throughout this state.
“Large numbers of people on the South Coast are renting – but while you are renting you do not have the same kind of housing security as people who own their home. When you are renting, you can be evicted for no reason, with just 90 days notice, and rents can be increased.
“For families with kids in the local school, or for older people, having to move and uproot yourself from your community is extremely stressful,” Ms Leong said.
The most recent Census data shows that a third of people in Eden, 39% of people in Jindabyne and more than half of all households in Bateman’s Bay are renting.
A 2017 report by Shelter NSW describes the issue of seasonal homelessness in coastal towns.
A review of the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010 is underway, with proposed reforms from the Government expected soon. Through the review process, The Greens have proposed a number of reforms to provide increased stability, security and choice for renters, and to improve standards for rental properties.
In October 2017, the Victorian Parliament voted to end no grounds evictions, so that Landlord must now provide a legitimate reason to evict a tenant.
In February 2017, a study co-authored by CHOICE, the National Association of Tenants' Organisations and National Shelter, titled Unsettled: Life in Australia's private rental market, found that 83% of renters in Australia have no fixed-term lease or are on a lease less than 12 months long, and 62% feel they're not in a position to ask for longer term rental security.
The Greens have launched rentersrights.org.au, a campaign hub and online resource for renters.