Changes to protect renters

Time for change: Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong (second left), opposition spokeswoman for innovation and better regulation Yasmin Catley (right), Tenants Advice and Advocacy Servce's Vala Ola’aiga and the Weblin family. Picture: Supplied
Time for change: Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong (second left), opposition spokeswoman for innovation and better regulation Yasmin Catley (right), Tenants Advice and Advocacy Servce's Vala Ola’aiga and the Weblin family. Picture: Supplied

It’s never been harder for first-home buyers to get their foot in the door. However, changes proposed by the NSW Labor Party will at least provide greater certainty for renters.

Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong said if their party won the next state election, it would remove the clause that allowed landlords to evict tenants without a reason.

Mr Chanthivong said the changes would provide greater reassurance to one third of his electorate (about 24,000 people) who were renters.

“This is positive news for the many families in our community who do the right thing and do not deserve to be kicked out of their home without a good reason,” he said.

Labor said too many tenants had been evicted by landlords because they asked for basic repairs.

The party intends to sit down with landlords, tenants and industry stakeholders to come up with a fairer system.

Tasmania and the ACT already require landlords to give a reason for eviction while Victoria has indicated it will adopt similar laws.

Macquarie Fields resident David Weblin – who rents a house with wife Melodee and children Alyssa (12) and Adelina (9) – said the changes would provide greater peace of mind.

“There is a fair bit of uncertainty (as a renter),” he said.

“If you have a problem you are almost too scared to ask for it to be fixed because if you do, your lease might not be renewed.

"Our place is falling apart but we are too scared to say anything.

“We’ve had pipes leaking and we’ve asked each other whether it’s worth paying for it ourselves or reporting it.

“The changes would be a relief and actually give me the confidence to speak up.”

Mr Weblin spoke with Mr Chanthivong and opposition spokeswoman for innovation and better regulation, Yasmin Catley, about the changes last week.

Ms Catley said “people shouldn’t be scared to point out a broken window or a leaking tap just in case the landlord decides to turf them out”.