RLC in the Media: Rental Affordability Crisis

Lanie Tindale from Inner West Independent speaks to Nicole Kennedy, tenancy coordinator at Redfern Legal Centre about the housing instability tenants on Leichardt’s William St.

The pervasive rental unaffordability in Sydney has hit its peak in Leichhardt, as landlords exploit “no grounds” evictions, forcing tenants on William St out of their homes. More specifically, these evictions severely target elderly tenants that have built a strong ties to the Leichhardt community, with some residents having no choice but to leave the country, as they have no family to reside within Australia.

Inner West Council Mayor Darcy Byrne reinforced the dire state of these tenants stating, “They have for years put up with a dilapidated bedsit in order to maintain their place in the Leichhardt community amongst their family, friends and community on a rent they can afford.”

Coupled with this, tenants faced numerous unresolved maintenance issues such as gas leaks requiring them to personally complete upgrades outside of their responsibility.

Nicole Kennedy of Redfern Legal Centre says the Centre will offer tenants a range of services, including negotiating with landlords to retain their housing or helping the tenants acquire new accommodations. Additionally, the Centre will potentially inquire into the validity of eviction notices and what legal action could be sought. However, she reinforced the intertwined problems that elderly tenants faced that exasperate their living situation, such as those with serious health issues with low-income stating, “It’s a difficult place to find a rental property even if you’re on a large income and it becomes harder the less your income is”.

Read the full article here (Inner West Independent, 20 June 2018)