News posts from April 2012
First Hurdle For Tenancy Changes Completed
Posted on Thursday, 11 April 2013 | Permalink
The Tenants' Union is quite happy after the Residential Tenancy Amendment Bill passed the Tasmanian House of Assembly last evening after we secured some key last minute concessions. The Bill's last hurdle is to now get through the sometimes unpredictable Legislative Council.
The key sticking points for the Union were all associated with Housing Tasmania properties. The Greens Housing Minister, Cassy O'Connor, was firm in her commitment for continual income and assets test for Housing Tasmania tenancies and a right for Housing Tasmania to evict tenants who are away from their house for more than 8 weeks continuously. The Tenants' Union opposed both measures and sought the deletion of the clauses pertaining to them, but only succeeded in watering the measures down by making the income and assets tests more transparent and making the 8 week absence rule less strict.
The Tenants' Union will now seek meetings with Upper House members with the aim of securing passage of the Bill and scrapping the proposals discussed above.
More discussion on the Bill next week.
SPECIAL EDITION of Rent Rant - Tenants' Union Newsletter
Posted on Tuesday, 9 April 2013 | Permalink
Tenants' Union Support Bill But Want Changes
The TUT supports the Residential Tenancy Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, especially the introduction of minimum standards for Tasmanian residential tenancies. However, we do have several concerns with elements of the Bill that we would like to see amended or struck out. Of most concern are the following areas:
1. Income and Assets Tests for Social Housing
Philosophically, the TUT is a supporter of public housing and would like to see it as a universal housing provider which sets rents as a percentage of income rather than at market rates. This may mean that higher income tenants are able to ‘subsidise’ the rent of lower income tenants. This, along with our concern that suburbs with high unemployment will have even higher unemployment if working tenants are evicted from Housing Tasmania house in that area, means the TUT’s preferred outcome is to see all references to income and asset tests struck out.
If income and asset tests are to be included, the TUT recommends:
- The tests to be consistent with community housing strategies such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS)
- Tests be indexed and limits dependent on household size
- Clarification around who is subject to the test. At present the legislation refers to ‘tenant’ rather than ‘household’.
2. Eviction for Being Away from Social Housing for More Than 8 Weeks
The Bill proposes to allow eviction of a social housing tenant, with 14 days notice, under the following...
To read the full story, go to the special issue of Rent Rant, the Tenants' Union newsletter.