Toowoomba. South Toowoomba. Real estate. Property July 2017
Toowoomba. South Toowoomba. Real estate. Property July 2017 Bev Lacey

Forum to discuss unfair rental laws

ACROSS the Northern Rivers nearly a third of people are renting.

They are the figures from the most recent census where it said 29.2% in the Ballina electorate were renting, just below the NSW average of 32%.

Home ownership is out of reach for more and more people, especially young people and low to medium wage earners.

More people than ever will become lifelong renters but rental laws are not designed for long term renters, and don't allow people to put down roots in their community, or have a stable, secure home, according to Greens MP Tamara Smith.

"Over 31% of people in the Byron shire are renting, and those people are at risk of being kicked out of their homes over the summer months because our rental laws don't offer enough protection,” she said.

"In holiday destinations like Byron Bay, renters can be served an eviction notice at the start of the summer, 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 said 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,” she said.

"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 These laws are unfair and out of date.

"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.

"For families with kids in the local school, or for older people, having to move and uproot yourself from your community is extremely stressful.”

NSW Labor and the Greens have joined forces to end "no-grounds” evictions and will be running a rent forum with a panel of experts to discuss renters rights to find a solution to the housing crisis in our region.

The panellists include:

  • Jenny Leong MP, NSW Greens Housing spokesperson
  • John McKenna, CEO North Coast Community Housing
  • Tony Davies, CEO Social Futures
  • Estelle Graham, CEO Anglicare North Coast

The forum will be on tomorrow (Friday, August 25 at 3-5pm at the Cavanbah Sports Centre - 249 Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay

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