A list of the top complaints handled by a regulator has seen tenancy issues as the number one complaint for 2014-15, up from sixth the previous year.
NSW Fair Trading received 46,973 complaints last financial year, with 4,045 relating to tenancy issues. That compared to 45,108 total complaints and 1,522 tenancy complaints in 2013-14.
Commissioner Rod Stowe said the spike in tenancy complaints was due to a free complaint and information service for tenants, residents, landlords and property managers that started in December 2013.
“Helping NSW people resolve tenancy problems continues to be a key role for the agency’s dispute resolution experts,” he said.
While Fair Trading received tenancy complaints before the service started, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) was the main point for dispute resolution in tenancy-related matters.
Mr Stowe said the free complaint and information service had increased its success rate from 88 per cent to 95 per cent.
That has significantly reduced matters going to NCAT, he added.
The commissioner encouraged tenants to make use of the advice and support provided by Fair Trading.
“Fair Trading intervention consistently delivers better results, is free, friendly and helps ensure a fair marketplace,” he said.
[Related: Biggest rental complaints revealed]