News: Rising house prices call for an urge to preserve security for renters

Published in City News, 4 January 2017

Despite predictions earlier last year that house prices would drop making the rental market more tenant friendly, renters continue to face uncertainty surrounding their leases.

Greens MP and Spokesperson for rental issues, Jenny Leong, wants to end ‘no grounds evictions.’ Under current laws, landlords can kick out renters without providing a reason. Ms Leong is campaigning for critical reforms to ensure this is stopped.

According to Ms Leong, “almost 40% of New South Wales households are now renting,” leaving many families with little stability in the tumultuous market. Tenants can face immediate eviction despite meeting all obligations and paying rent on time.

“They can be asked to move out of the property with just 90 days notice at any time the landlord chooses, again without the landlord having to give any reason,” Ms Leong said.

Notwithstanding the growing number of two-income households, Sydney faces a housing affordability crisis, blocking prospective buyers from the market.

Home ownership rates continue to drop with a startling 87.9% surge in the price of Sydney houses since 2009. There’s little indication that Sydney’s market is slowing down, putting home ownership beyond the reach of many Sydneysiders. According to Ms Leong, “for many people, renting is the only option.

“At the last census 41.2 per cent of families with dependent children in NSW were renting.

“In NSW 20 per cent of people receiving the aged pension now rent.”

A major problem for NSW renters is this risk of eviction without any explanation from the landlord, posing a serious threat to the tenant’s long-term security.

According to Ms Leong, “these ‘no grounds’ evictions are not a common practice around the world.”

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