Monday, January 23, 2017

Welcome to 2017 - the year of the renter

Welcome back to the Brown Couch for 2017. It's been a swell (at times sweltering) break - now it's time to dust off the old keyboard and get ready for another big year.

Domain's Jennifer Duke has dubbed it "the year of the renter" on account of the rising population of Australians who are long-term tenants, tipped to outnumber home-owners in parts of the country during 2017. Duke opines that "... if the growing group of tenants are to be housed with security and decency, fixing the rules that surround the rental market is something that has to be done now." We couldn't agree more.

While we're firmly in the "every year is the year of the renter" camp, we must admit there's a growing interest in tenants' rights across the country. The perennial housing affordability conversation is slowly starting to explore the costs and conditions of long-term living in the private rental market. Of course, there's still a long way to go, but there's a noticeable change in the air. For one thing, our own engagement with the mainstream media has never been higher, and we're getting a far more sympathetic ear than we might have expected even just a year or two ago... For example, check out our spot on ABC News 24's Weekend Breakfast program from late last year:

There's a long way to go, but there will be a couple of big opportunities to push the discussion further as we move through this current year of the renter. For one, we'll have a new Premier who has listed housing affordability as a key priority area, and while we don't yet know what this means for the Social Housing and Fair Trading Ministerial portfolios, we'll have to take it as a positive sign as the Government considers the final stages of the statutory review of renting laws, and pursues its ambition for Social Housing reform. Fingers and toes crossed, just for good measure.

We can expect some of the 2016 Census data to start coming through towards the middle of Autumn, which will tell us just how much our renter population has grown over the last five years. And we're expecting a report from a national survey of tenants that was conducted late last year by Choice, National Shelter and the National Association of Tenancy Organisations, so watch this space. In the meantime the next issue of Rent Tracker is just around the corner, and we'll have more to say about the impact of Airbnb on the Sydney rental market in the coming weeks.

2017 is set to be another big year, full of opportunities to join the push for a better deal for tenants. Keep an eye out for us, and jump in where you can.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the work TU does. Good to see recent increase in discussion around tenancy issues in the mainstream media. May it continue!


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