Marginal renters protected under my bill

I've promoted boarders' rights since 1988 when I helped a group of boarders who had been evicted onto the Kings Cross streets with no notice.

This was a lawful eviction. Boarders have few rights and also have problems like getting urgent repairs, bond refunds and receipts.

Disputes are common but neither renter nor landlord can access the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal. Remedies are only possible through the Supreme Court - often a long and expensive process.

The situation is similar for other renters and landlords not covered by mainstream tenancy law including lodgers, people in disability support accommodation and residents of student colleges.

This week I introduced my Residential Tenancies Amendment (Occupancy Agreements) Bill to provide these renters and landlords basic rights and responsibilities like access to clean, safe and secure premises and the ability to set reasonable rules and carry out inspections.

The flexible protections can apply to all situations while the Government works with industry, advocacy groups and residents to create more prescriptive rights through the regulations for each type of housing, based on the ACT model.

I also called for more industry support to ensure boarding houses remain viable in the inner city where they provide an essential housing option..

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