Local not-for-profit community services provider, VERTO, has welcomed the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s proposal to provide greater protection for renters, recognising the support as critical for thousands of NSW residents.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has proposed reforms that would see no-grounds eviction notices on periodic leases replaced with a reasonable grounds model, extended notice periods for end of fixed term leases, among a raft of other changes.
“As the local provider of the South Western Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy program, we are regularly hearing firsthand how people in Albury, Bathurst, Goulburn, Orange and Wagga Wagga are being significantly impacted by rising rents, decreasing vacancies and an increase in no-grounds evictions,” VERTO CEO Ron Maxwell said.
“No-grounds eviction notices, whereby a lease is terminated without reason, have been steadily on the rise across the South West since the COVID-19 pandemic. VERTO’s statistics reveal that end of fixed term and 90 day no grounds eviction notices have increased a whopping 158 per cent in Bathurst and 205 per cent in Orange since 2020.
“It is positive to see the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s are listening to calls from the community to make these necessary and important changes, because no one should ever live in fear of homelessness.”
Other proposed reforms include:
- Extending notice periods for end of fixed term leases from 30 to 45 days
- Introduction of a new, optional standard lease agreement with three and five year terms
- Introduction of a rental bond rollover scheme
- Regulation of information collected and stored from tenants and applicants.
“Orange’s latest vacancy rates have dropped to 2.4 per cent, with Bathurst as low as 1.2 per cent,” Mr Maxwell said.
“When you have a situation where rents are rapidly rising, are increasingly difficult to retain and it’s incredibly difficult to find new housing, you unfortunately, have a perfect storm for many tenants,” Mr Maxwell said.
“Something has to change to level the playing field and cross-party support for ending no grounds evictions notices is imperative to improve security of renters across NSW.”
VERTO's free, confidential South Western Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy program is run by professional and experienced counsellors trained to support people through difficult times. For more information or assistance, phone 1300 483 786 or visit www.verto.org.au.