These 'no grounds evictions' mean that renters can be forced out of their homes for asking for basic repairs, or for questioning a high rental increase. Or simply because their landlord doesn’t like them. This creates a climate of fear, and means that people don’t request their legal right to live in a safe, well maintained home environment.
"So many tenants we see at RLC are too scared to challenge unfair rental increases, or they avoid seeking urgently needed repairs for fear of losing their home," says RLC tenants' advocate Kimberley Mackenzie.
"Landlords hold all the power, simply because they have the ability evict tenants without giving a reason. Vulnerable people, who are already experiencing rental stress, suddenly have to deal the the additional stress and cost of having to move at short notice."
Existing provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (section 115) that are supposed to offer protection against ‘retaliatory evictions’ are notoriously weak. Of all the decisions published by the Tribunal, only once have they refused an eviction by declaring it to be retaliatory.
"While there are legal avenues available for tenants to argue that a no grounds termination is not valid, this is generally too onerous for the tenant to pursue," Kimberley explains. "Law reform is urgently needed".
Make Renting Fair is a community campaign supported by over 90 organisations calling for law reform to end these unfair evictions.
Everyone deserves safe, secure and affordable housing. You can join for fairer tenancy laws in NSW, so that when someone is evicted there is always a good reason, and a real opportunity available to renters to challenge the eviction when there is not.