Monday, October 6, 2014

International Tenants Day

Happy International Tenants Day!

(Artwork from the TUACT's International Tenants Day Art Competition and Exhibition)

We hope you enjoy the long weekend. Your Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services will be back at work on Tuesday, answering calls for phone advice (they took more than 22 000 phone advice calls last year), advocating for tenants in communications with landlords and agents (more than 4 600 cases last year) and representing tenants in Tribunal proceedings (more than 2 000 cases last year).
They're funded to do this work with interest generated on tenants' money – that is, the $1 billion in tenants' bonds lodged at the Rental Bond Board, and monies in agents' statutory trust accounts. We think using interest on tenants' money is an excellent way to fund services for the benefit of tenants.
However, as we noted previously, most of the interest on tenants' money does not go to services for the benefit of tenants.
Worse, the amount that goes to TAASs has not increased in real terms in 12 years – even though the number of tenancies has grown by 25 per cent in that time.
This means TAASs are stretched thin, and tenants are missing out on the services they need and deserve.
We're asking the NSW Government to increase funding to TAASs by $5.15 million per annum now, and to ensure that going forward, funding grows in line with the number of tenancies.
That $5.15 million would restore value to TAAS funding, as well as properly fund the duty advocacy that TAASs do at the Tribunal, and an additional much-needed Aboriginal TAAS for southwest New South Wales.  
This is affordable – after paying its share of the increase, the Bond Board's interest account would still be running a surplus – and a fairer use of tenants' money.
Please, let your State MP know that you want more of your money to go to your services – the TAASs. 

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