On Wednesday 14 June Make Renting Fair held a snap briefing post the announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.
During the briefing we provided an overview of the campaign, our achievements so far, an overview of the reforms announced, and next steps.
It was fantastic to see so many people RSVP and join us. If you missed it, you can watch it here.
We are also seeking your support to keep the campaign going. If you are able to make a financial contribution (or would like to enquire about making a tax deductible donation) to the campaign, please get in touch with Chantal Caruso at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the webinar there were lots of questions ask, so we’ve taken the time to answer them below:
Q. Will we be going for rent increases to only be aligned with CPI or by a certain percentage?
A. MRF are not set on a specific method of reducing rent increases. We are still pushing to have rent increases tied to the cost of living, perhaps linked to the CPI and/or a maximum percentage increase allowed. The ACT recently introduced a maximum rent increase amount. It is the amount of the CPI plus a maximum additional amount of 10% of that CPI increase.
Q. Do you have any details on the demographics of renters, ie how many are female, families, from refugee backgrounds, etc?
The demographics we collect as part of the Make Renting Fair Survey are ‘Definition of Gender’, ‘Age’, ‘Who lives in your home?’ ‘Does anyone identify as Aboriginal or TSI?’ ‘Does anyone experience disability?’
- 74% identify as female, 21% male.
- 70% of respondents were aged between 25yo – 54yo (spread fairly evenly across the age brackets)
- 27% live alone. 18% couple. 15% single parent family. 21%Couple with children. 17% Share House.
- 4% identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
- 51 % have someone in the home who experiences disability.
Q. I remember seeing that ‘bidding’ at viewings amongst prospective renters has also been abolished. Is this true?
As far as we understand ‘Rent Bidding’ is not allowed to be started or encouraged by the Real Estate Agent, but a renter offering a higher amount is not against the rules.
Q. It’s probably worth noting that the increase to funding for tenant advocates, while very welcome, only takes funding back to 2016 levels – so the program is still going backwards given increasing need and lack of indexation. The funding is also only for 2 years, so quite precarious.
It does seem a little inadequate. At this point we are accepting what we have achieved funding wise but are always working with the Tenancy Support Network to see how we can help them improve and increase their services. Between now and the end of the year though, we will be focusing on achieving the rest of our Tenancy 10 asks.