Greens commit to improving rental security for Newcastle

MEDIA RELEASE – 5 April, 2017

NSW Greens Housing spokesperson, Jenny Leong MP says that ending ‘no grounds’ evictions in NSW is a simple reform that will provide much needed security for renters in Newcastle, Port Stephens, the Hunter and across the state.

The Greens are kicking off a campaign to end ‘no grounds’ evictions with the launch of the rentersrights.org.au website.

“Many renters 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  These laws are unfair and out of date,” Ms Leong said.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.

“The Newcastle electorate has a very high proportion of renters, with 38% of dwellings occupied by tenants according to the most recent census data.  This is one of the densest areas for renters outside inner Sydney, ranking 10th in NSW.

“In the neighbouring electorate of Port Stephens, 27% of households rent, and in the Upper Hunter it’s 28%.

“No grounds evictions allow landlords to evict good tenants with just 90 days notice on a rolling lease and just 30 days notice at the end of a lease – without giving any reason at all.

“Renters in most other OECD countries can live secure lives, knowing that they can put their kids through the local school while living in a rented family home, or retire without the threat of eviction hanging over their head.

“But in NSW, dodgy landlords can use ‘no grounds’ evictions as a loophole to kick out tenants if they ask for repairs, if they want to unreasonably increase the rent, or for no reason whatsoever.

“Low- and middle-income people increasingly can’t afford to buy homes.  Long-term renting is a reality for many but our laws in NSW do not make it a secure option for people.

“In the Hunter, the boom and bust of the mining cycle has affected whole communities.  When work is plentiful, homes are in short supply, and rents skyrocket.  Long term tenants can be evicted by greedy landlords who want to double or triple the rent.

“Newcastle, like most Australian cities has seen house prices increase sharply.  For anyone on the minimum wage, the median house price in Newcastle of $975,000 is firmly out of reach.

“Even more affordable suburbs like Stockton are now out of reach for low paid working families, where the average house price has reached $620,000.

“Because ordinary working people can no longer afford to buy a home, more and more people are becoming lifelong renters.  There are more families with children living in rental homes than ever before. We need to ensure that renters can put down roots and contribute to their communities without the threat of eviction hanging over their heads,” she said.

BACKGROUND:

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 <http://www.jennyleong.org/greens_rental_law_reform_campaign> to provide increased stability, security and choice for renters, and to improve standards for rental properties.

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<https://www.choice.com.au/money/property/renting/articles/choice-rental-market-report>, 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<http://www.rentersrights.org.au/no_grounds_evictions>, a campaign hub and online resource for renters.

Rental statistics for each NSW electorate are available at the NSW Parliamentary Research Service paper NSW Electorate Profiles: 2013 Redistribution<https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/researchpapers/Documents/nsw-electorate-profiles-2013-redistribution/NSW%20Electorate%20Profiles%20-%202013%20Redistribution.pdf>.

Jenny Leong MP

Member for Newtown

383 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042

Phone: 02 9517 2800 | Fax: 02 9517  2200

Website <http://www.jennyleong.org/> | Facebook <https://facebook.com/greens.jennyleong> | Twitter <https://twitter.com/jennyleong>

Our office is on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We acknowledge their ownership of this land and pay our respects to past, present and emerging elders.

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