Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tenants advocates: they're not just lawyers...

In a recent post we highlighted the work of all the lawyers and law students employed in the State-wide network of Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services. As N.C. observed, the TAASs employ many non-lawyers, too.

And how! A quick ask around the network reveals that your tenants advocates come from fields as diverse as community work, social work, science, IT, adult education, early childhood education, horticulture, acupuncture and optical dispensing, as well as the law. There's also several former and current small business owners, a couple of former union organisers, two journalists, two pilots, a tour guide, a travel writer, a publisher, a classical musician, a cabinet maker and a locksmith. A number of advocates have worked on the other side of the landlord-tenant relationship in social housing; another trained as a real estate agent before deciding to use her powers for good.

What TAAS workers have in common is an expertise in residential tenancy law and practice that is unmatched by most legal practitioners.  Plus that diversity of knowledge and experience means they can often come up with some lateral thinking to get around problems too.

TAASs give free, confidential information and advice to tenants only (you've paid for it – TAASs are funded from a small portion of the interest earned on tenants' monies lodged as bonds and in agents' accounts), so if you've a question or problem about rental housing, please give your local service a ring.

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