The submission Re-leased:
improving standards for tenants responds to the NSW Department of Fair
Trading’s discussion paper Residential
Tenancies Act 2010 Review (the discussion paper). PIACs submission responds
to the review based on its
experience with clients affected by the operation of the Act, particularly in
two program areas, the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service (HPLS) and the Energy
and Water Consumer Advocacy Program (EWCAP).
The purpose for the review is to update the legislation in a
number of areas, such as starting and ending a tenancy, rental bonds,
accommodation standards and dispute resolution mechanisms. HPLS identify a
number of areas for amendment, such as the required protection for tenants
surrounding termination of a tenancy without grounds. HPLS also encourages change
to the legislation to consider greater
protection for women who have been subjected to domestic violence and are at
risk of losing their tenancy.
EWCAP sees opportunity in the review to implement standards
surrounding energy efficiency, whereby appliances and structures within the
home could be modified. EWCAP believes the benefits of these standards would assist
energy and water consumers across NSW who are renting. These benefits include : reducing energy use (and therefore a lowering
of tenants’ energy lower bills);
comfortable living standards that promote health benefits to tenants; as well
as the potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The submission addresses these areas for improvement in
light of the two program areas within PIAC.