News posts from 2012
Christmas and New Year Services
Posted on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 | Permalink
Face to Face Advice in Hobart closes Thursday 20th December at 12.30 pm and reopens Tuesday 8th January at 9.30am.
Telephone Advice closes Friday 21st December at 12.30pm and reopens Wednesday 2nd January at 9.30am.
If you require tenancy advice during the break you can try Legal Aid on 1300 366 611, or for tenancy information try Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading on 1300 654 499.
Median Rent by Local Government Area
Posted on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 | Permalink
Click here to find out. You may be surprised.
Review of Tenants' Union Services
Posted on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 | Permalink
The Tenants' Union is conducting a review of its legal services in November, and is inviting tenants to tell us how we can improve. In particular, we are looking at:
- Telephone advice
- Advocacy and court representation
- Community legal education
- Our relationships with community organisations
- Training of staff and residential tenancy workers
If you wish to make comment please contact us and if you wish to do so anonymously, you can send a letter to our postal address at 166 Macquarie St Hobart TAS 7000.
We greatly appreciate any constructive feedback.
Special Guest Lecture
Posted on Monday, 22 October 2012 | Permalink
With changes to Tasmania's main tenancy legislation ongoing, the Tenants' Union has asked Magnus Hammar, Secretary General of the International Union of Tenants to give us examples of what can be achieved through effective reform.
This forum will benefit tenants, housing workers, policy makers and anyone with an interest in improving housing conditions.
- Tuesday 13th November
- 5pm for 5.15pm ('til 6pm)
- 50 & Better Centre (CWL Hall) - 108 Bathurst St., Hobart
- Drinks and Nibbles Provided
Friends of Public Housing
Posted on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 | Permalink
Friends of Public Housing are looking for tenants in Tasmania to start up a Tasmanian Friends of Public Housing site. Here's what they say:
A strong voice across Australia is needed to stop the privatisation or dismantling of Public Housing.
Keep up to date with Public Housing issues by ticking "like" on one of the following Facebook sites:
- Friends of Public Housing NSW
- Friends of Public Housing Vic
- Friends of Public Housing QLD
- Kate Borland's Save Public Housing
Friends of Public Housing are hoping to find someone in Tasmania to join us by starting a FOPH site for Tasmania. If you are interested please contact one of the above sites.
UNITED WE STAND. Alone we can do little. Together we can do so much.
Monday 1st October - International Tenants' Day
Posted on Monday, 1 October 2012 | Permalink
We have three reasons for celebrating International Tenants' Day!
- Monday saw the introduction of our Launceston tenancy service. If you need more help of a more complex nature and you're in Launceston, we can provide legal advice. Call us on 1300 652 641.
- Tenants' Unions around the world are highlighting the benefits of rental housing, and here are 13 reasons why we like it.
- We are hopeful that the Tasmanian Government will make Tassie the first state or territory in Australia to have minimum residential tenancy standards.
Tenants' Union Annual Report 2011-12
Posted on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 | Permalink
Tenants' Union AGM
Posted on Thursday, 13 September 2012 | Permalink
The Tenants' Union of Tasmania Inc. will hold its Annual General Meeting at 5.30pm on Tuesday 25th September at 166 Macquarie St, Hobart.
Tenants' Union Advice Line Callers: Median Rent
Posted on Monday, 13 August 2012 | Permalink
Statistics collected from telephone advice calls to the Tenants' Union.
Stay Warm, Save Money
Posted on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 | Permalink
The Power Savings for Tenants Program also known as “Stay Warm, Save Money” is being rolled out statewide. This project helps tenants in private rental properties to save money on their power bills and stay warm.
Each home is assessed individually and a range of upgrades installed, which may include extensive draught proofing, insulating hot water tanks and pipes, installing water efficient showerheads, changing lightbulbs, replacing fridge seals, and providing rugs, curtains and pelmets All this is combined with extensive household engagement and energy efficiency advice. This project is completely free to the tenant and landlord.
Can I join the Project?
This service is designed for low-income renters. So you are eligible if you a) Have a healthcare, pension or DVA card b) Are renting from a private landlord or real estate agent.
Applying for the project is easy. Simply complete the online application at www.slt.org.au/pst.
Positions Vacant: Volunteer Telephone Advisors
Posted on Monday, 4 June 2012 | Permalink
Are you interested in helping tenants resolve issues with their landlords and agents?
Can you communicate with people from a broad range of backgrounds?
Are you interested in human rights and social justice issues?
Can you volunteer three hours per week during business hours for a minimum of 26 weeks?
Then come and volunteer with us!
We provide FREE advice to residential tenants and opportunities are available to become a volunteer telephone advisor in Hobart. The role suits people who can communicate well by telephone and are good at problem solving. Seniors and tenants are encouraged to apply.
Full training provided.
To register interest or for more information email Pete: Peter_Foster@clc.net.au
Vale Bob Jones
Posted on Monday, 21 May 2012 | Permalink
Last Thursday the Tenants' Union lost one of its dearest friends and long-time telephone advisor, Bob Jones. Bob had volunteered with the Tenants' Union for around ten years and gave advice to thousands of tenants on Tuesday and Friday mornings. He also gave his time to many not-for-profit organisations including Volunteering Tasmania, TasCAHRD and Lifeline.
He will be greatly missed.
Robert (Bob) Jones
Tenants' Union Advice Now on Skype
Posted on Monday, 7 May 2012 | Permalink
The Tenants' Union now provides face-to-face advice through Skype on Fridays from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Click here for details.
Input Sought for New Smoke Alarm Legislation
Posted on Thursday, 19 April 2012 | Permalink
The Tasmanian Government is proposing new legislation to make smoke alarms mandatory in all tenancies covered under the Residential Tenancy Act. The bill, which is due to come before parliament in Winter 2012, will require landlords/agents to install smoke alarms at the commencement date of the legislation, and have hard-wired (mains powered) alarms or ten-year non-removable battery alarms within 3 years of the legislation coming into effect. If you wish to see the proposed legislation and make a comment, it can be found at the Consumer Affairs website. Submissions close Friday 27th April.
Posted on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 | Permalink
Queries about water and sewerage bills are increasing as water meters continue to be rolled out across the State. Of particular concern for tenants is the number of landlords trying to make the tenant pay the whole water and sewerage bill. In some cases these bills are addressed to the tenant. To avoid confusion here's the quick low down on water and sewerage bills:
- Water and sewerage bills should be sent to the landlord or agent not the tenant. This will not change after July 1.
- The landlord/agent may only pass on the metered component of the bill to the tenant.
- The metered component can only be passed on to the tenant if the meter is only for their property and the tenant(s) have been the only occupant during the billing period.
Tenants are not responsible for the whole bill, even if the lease agreement says that they are.
Tenants' Union Review Submission
Posted on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 | Permalink
Thank you to all the tenants and supporters who made a submission to the Residential Tenancy Act Review.
Here's the Tenants' Union submission in detail. The Minister put out a press release last week confirming his determination to see minimum standards for residential tenancies. We will continue in our efforts to see them enacted.
Residential Tenancy Act Review
Posted on Thursday, 16 February 2012 | Permalink
It's the final week for submissions to the Residential Tenancy Act Review and this your chance to tell the Tasmanian Government that you want better rental conditions now.
We've made a quick and easy form for you to do that.
Please fill it in and tell your friends.
Submissions close Friday 24th February.
Tenant Input Needed for Residential Tenancy Act Review
Posted on Monday, 30 January 2012 | Permalink
The main piece of legislation governing Tasmanian residential tenancies is under review and tenants have less than a month to comment.
The Residential Tenancy Act Review's Final Report and Consultation Paper was released in December and has 17 recommendations including:
- Allowing rent increases to occur only every 12 months instead of the present 6 months,
- The introduction of limited minimum standards of accommodation. These include hot and cold running water, cooking facilities, adequate ventilation and adequate heating in the main living area. Further standards would be examined by a working party,
- Removing provisions that allow tenants to undertake repairs when the landlord/agent won't do them, and
- Allowing landlords to let properties to family members after giving 90 days notice to a tenant on a non-fixed lease.
As you can see there are some improvements for tenants and some potential victories for landlords/agents.
The Tenants' Union will also be pushing for further changes to the Act that have not been included in the recommendations such as lengthening notice periods for inspections, ending the discrimination against pet owners and ensuring that residential tenants have at least one fee-free method of paying rent.
The Tenants' Union will be responding to the Report with a detailed submission. If you wish to make a comment, either contact us or make your own submission. The closing date is 24th February 2012.