Voicing their thoughts ahead of last week’s NSW election, the state’s law society has stated that protections for vulnerable tenants must go one step further.
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Prior to the election win by Chris Minns and the Labor Party, the Law Society of NSW welcomed the commitments by parties to end “no-grounds” evictions from residential properties.
Cassandra Banks, the Law Society of NSW president, said there are good reasons to review the existing right of a landlord to end a lease at any time for no reason with 90 days’ notice and 30 days’ notice, to prevent evictions on unreasonable grounds, particularly in relation to groups that are vulnerable to discrimination.
She highlighted, “There is a clear link between the lack of security in the private rental market and homelessness. At a time when the number of homeless people continues to increase, preventing unreasonable evictions will provide some security to renters already under considerable housing stress.”
“These groups include older people, those living with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people experiencing family or domestic violence.”
Ms Banks and the Law Society are now calling on the Minns-led government to consider reforming the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to prevent evictions on unreasonable grounds and “make an early commitment to fund specialist legal services that are focused on financial hardship and homelessness.”
The president has argued that “the option to downsize or move isn’t available to people who already find it difficult to pay rent every month, especially in tight markets like Sydney and larger regional centres. Those providing free or low-cost legal assistance, so clients can maintain tenancies and avoid homelessness, need to be able to continue their crucial work.”
“Those struggling most to house themselves and their families need the reassurance that they can find legal help when they need it most,” she concluded.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.
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