The protection of tenant rights and the establishment of decent standards were some of the major changes last century in the way that housing affected health and well-being – particularly in poorer or working communities.
But poor housing conditions and inadequate rights are still an issue for many households. Aboriginal communities in particular are often deeply affected by housing that is not fit for use, with serious health consequences. There is still discrimination in our rental markets. The rights of caravan park dwellers or boarding house residents are still far too weak.
Our tenancy law, which is supposed to strike a balance between the rights of landlords and tenants, is weighted heavily towards landlords. Unlike other countries that provide the security of long term tenancies and regulated rent increases, tenants in NSW are subject to short-term leases, no-cause evictions, and annual rent increases.
With the increasing number of households living for longer in the private rental market, a changed approach to tenant’s rights is urgently needed.
Shelter NSW and housing rights and regulations
Again, this is an area in which Shelter works closely with other housing advocates such as the NSW tenants’ Union and tenant advice services. However, Shelter also advocates strongly in its own right to protect the interests of low-income housing consumers, and has been part of long campaigns to improve tenancy legislation and establish legal rights and protections in areas such as boarders and lodgers.
We also produce research and submissions such as:
- Heritage & social housing
- Visual & acoustic privacy
- Strata title law
- Residential Tenancies Act
- Submission on strata title law reform
- Residential tenancies bill