Greens Renew Call for End to ‘No Grounds’ Evictions for NSW Renters

Thursday, February 16, 2017 | Jenny Leong

In response to the “Unsettled: Life in Australia's private rental market” report released today, NSW Greens spokesperson on Housing Jenny Leong MP gave notice of a motion in the NSW Parliament calling for an end to ‘no grounds’ evictions in the state.

The report, a national study co-authored by Australian consumer advocacy group CHOICE, the National Association of Tenants' Organisations and National Shelter, shows that tenants across Australia are living in a climate of fear, due to insecurity around their tenure.

"Many renters in NSW are living in precarious and unsafe situations, due to ‘no grounds’ evictions which result in all renters being in fear of being kicked out of their home by dodgy or greedy landlords for no reason,” said Ms Leong.

"This year the NSW Government has the opportunity to rectify this major issue for renters, with the statutory review of the Residential Tenancies Act that is currently underway.

“Renters have told us that they are scared to ask for repairs in case they are evicted and put on a tenants’ blacklist. People are making do in sub-standard properties because ‘no grounds’ evictions make them feel powerless.

“The fact that this national study 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 is cause for serious concern. Unfortunately, for those of us who have been listening to horror stories from renters for years, and working closely with tenant advocates, this is not a surprise.”

“More people are renting than ever before. In NSW around 40% of households are living in rental properties, including many elderly people and families with children.

“The insecurity of not knowing where they will leave year to year places huge stress on people. Putting an end to no grounds evictions will be a big step forward for improving stability and security for renters,” she said.

BACKGROUND

Currently under NSW rental laws, landlords can evict tenants without giving any reason. This can be done at the end of a fixed-term lease with 30 days’ notice, or during an on-going lease with 90 days’ notice.

Jenny Leong MP’s motion:

I give notice that on the next available sitting day I will move:

That this House:

  1. Notes the national study undertaken by CHOICE, the National Association of Tenants' Organisations and National Shelter released today that found 83% of renters in Australia have no fixed-term lease or are on a lease less than 12 months long.
  2. Recognises that more 40% of households in NSW are now renters and they are living subject to precarious and unsafe situations, due to ‘no grounds’ evictions which result in all renters living in fear of being kicked for now reason by dodgy or greedy landlords
  3. Calls on the NSW Government to use the current statutory review of the Residential Tenancies Act to reform NSW rental laws and provide greater security for renters by putting an end to ‘no grounds’ evictions in this state.
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