RLC in Hansard: Alex Greenwich responds to the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Bill 2018

On 26 September, Mr Alex Greenwich MP outlined his views on the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Bill 2018 in the NSW Parliament. Mr Greenwich’s Second Reading speech highlighted key issues also raised in RLC’s recent position paper.

In his speech, Mr Greenwich said that positive protections for tenants proposed in the bill were undermined by the government’s refusal to remove no-grounds evictions:

“Landlords will always have unchecked power over tenants if they can evict for no reason. It would be fairer to ban no-grounds evictions and to provide a comprehensive list of potential grounds for eviction, while also giving the tribunal power to approve other reasons.”

Mr Greenwich said that evicting tenants for “no reason” hides unlawful retaliation against renters who pursue their rights, for example, to get repairs. He also expressed disappointment that share house renters without a written lease continue to be excluded from protections, leaving them vulnerable to eviction without notice and loss of bond and belongings:  

“The system is unfair and it benefits only unscrupulous head tenants. The bill should have extended tenancy protections to share houses.”

During debate on the bill, Mr Greenich gave special mention to new measures that will help victims of domestic violence end their leases immediately to escape perpetrators, describing these amendments as "the most important reforms in the bill". He also stressed the need to increase funding to tenants' advocacy services, including the service run by RLC:

“The Act can only properly function if those it covers know how to exercise their rights, and this requires a strong tenancy advocacy sector. ... Funding to tenants' advice services including the Tenants' Union of NSW and the Inner Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service should be increased.”

Read Alex Greenwich's full speech here (Bills - Second Reading Debate, Legislative Assembly, Parliament House, 26 September 2018)

See also

Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and Amendment (Review) Bill 2018 (RLC Position Paper, 25 September 2018)