The Toward Home Alliance welcomes the passing of new laws designed to provide better protections for private renters and increased opportunities for those with pets to reasonably access private rental accommodation, whilst balancing the rights of landlords.
As the housing crisis continues across the country, here in South Australia, the Malinauskas Labor Government has announced the passing of the Residential Tenancies (miscellaneous) Reforms Act 2023 which includes changes to:
- introduce prescribed grounds to terminate or not renew a tenancy
- extend the notice period to end a tenancy from 28 days to 60 days
- allow tenants to have pets in rental homes with reasonable conditions
- protect tenants’ information
- ensure rental properties comply with minimum housing standards
- provide additional support for victims of domestic violence.
The Toward Home Alliance is a consortium of local and national organisations with specialised teams that support people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness in the Adelaide CBD, inner and outer southern suburbs and the Adelaide Hills.
Senior Alliance Manager Shaya Nettle says efforts to prevent people from entering homelessness are more important than ever.
“Investment in prevention represents excellent social and economic policy and delivers better outcomes for the South Australian community,” Ms Nettle says.
“Our Toward Home Alliance teams are optimistic about these reforms and the stability they represent for the hundreds of thousands of people reliant on the private rental market.
“With Christmas time being a stressful period for many people, and particularly for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and with summertime heat due to bring an extra layer of challenge and discomfort for people experiencing rough sleeping, we know this will continue to be a busy period for our frontline workforce.”
Rohan Feegrade, Chief Executive Officer of Toward Home Alliance lead agency Lutheran Care, says it is great news for South Australians who are renting, especially those who may be at risk of homelessness or coming through the other side of housing insecurity and into a new rental property.
“The reforms represent the biggest overhaul of South Australia’s rental laws since the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Act in 1995 and will significantly improve security for tenants facing record low vacancy rates,” Mr Feegrade says.
Alongside people with lived experience and sector colleagues, THA actively engaged in the consultation process to advocate for more inclusive conditions in the residential tenancies act.
“We thank the State Government for this consultation opportunity,” Mr Feegrade says.
“As a collective, we will continue our advocacy to Government for further measures that will create a fairer rental market for low income tenants, better access to safe and stable accommodation and the overdue necessity to increase social housing stock.
“While the changes stop short of addressing a primary concern of escalating and unreasonable rent increases, rising rents and affordability will continue to pose an acute issue for tenants.
“However, if we can prevent people from becoming homeless through better early intervention and accommodating measures as outlined in these reforms, fewer South Australian’s will experience the devastating health and negative wellbeing impact that arise from episodes of homelessness.”
For more information about the rental reforms, please see: http://www.cbs.sa.gov.au/rentreforms
Article sourced from Toward Home – towardhome.org.au