The Greens have today launched a plan to strengthen renters’ rights and fund tenancy advocacy services. Nearly a third of all Australian households rent their home. Yet government after government has ignored renters’ rights in favour of landlord profits.
Renting is becoming more unaffordable and inaccessible by the minute. The latest Rental Affordability Index, released today, has shown that low and moderate-income households are currently under extreme rental stress in cities and regions across the country.
The Greens will protect renters’ rights by boosting and guaranteeing funding for tenants’ advocacy services by $30 million per year to improve access to independent information, advice and advocacy. This has been fully costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office.
We will also establish a National Standard of Renters’ Rights to:
- Limit the amount and frequency of rent rises in private rental
- Prohibit ‘no grounds’ evictions and give tenants the option of European Style long-term leases
- Allow tenants to make minor changes without permission from their landlord
- Prohibit blanket ‘no pets’ clauses in leases
- Ensure appropriate tenancy protections for victims of domestic violence in all states and territories
- Enforce disability access, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability standards for rental homes.
These measures will support renters alongside Greens commitments to build one million affordable homes, increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance and wind back negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount.
Quotes attributable to Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for Housing:
“Renters in this country are doing it incredibly tough. More and more people are renting but with limited rights, they can't turn their house into a home.
“We’ve all heard rental horror stories of people being evicted, huge rental rises, broken floorboards and leaky roofs. It’s beyond time to fix this.
“Not only do we see rental affordability worsen year in, year out, but people also have to contend with poor-quality rentals.
“Renters’ rights are a national issue. Landlords across the country have too much power. No-grounds evictions should be made a thing of the past, and we have to get rent rises under control.
“I rented for many years with my family in Sydney and I know all too well of the difficulties, uncertainties, insecurity and restrictions that make renting hard.
“What’s worse, there are different rules and standards across the various states and territories which makes it confusing and unclear for renters exactly what their rights are.
“Critical tenancy advocacy services should be well-funded to ensure renters have access to the legal and advisory support they need while navigating what is often a confusing and inflexible system.
“As property prices skyrocket and home ownership slips out of reach for more and more people, it’s never been more critical to protect renters’ rights.
“Whether you own a house or rent one, everyone deserves the security and stability of a place to call home."