Labor has made a move to try and stop landlords being able to evict tenants from their properties without providing a reason.
Shadow Minister for Consumer Protection Julia Finn began the second reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Reasons for Termination) Bill 2021 in the NSW Legislative Assembly on Thursday, which aims to put an end to no grounds terminations across the state.
Currently, landlords can evict tenants for no reason provided they give 90 days notice during a lease, or 30 days out of lease.
Ms Finn claimed there was a history of tenants "being evicted without any reason in retaliation for asserting their rights, such as overdue repairs or maintenance, or because of discrimination".
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"And in a rapidly increasing tight rental market, without addressing no reason eviction, landlords may evict tenants in order to re-let the property at a higher weekly rent and expose evicted tenants to overheated rental markets," she said. "With record low levels of housing affordability and record low rental vacancy rates across the state, it is more urgent than ever before to end unfair no reason evictions."
The bill includes additional grounds for terminations, including renovations or the landlord moving in.
"There is always a good reason to evict a bad tenant," Ms Finn said. "The bill is designed to stop retaliatory evictions and enhance the security of tenure for tenants.
The Heraldreported in March Raymond Terrace mother Emily Perkins was issued a 90 day no grounds termination. Despite a good rental history, she applied for more than 200 properties before finally securing a place through a friend of her sister.
She said being evicted in the midst of a cut throat rental market was "scary".
"It was horrible, especially knowing I'd done nothing wrong," she said. "After the article, I had hundreds of women reach out to me and say they were in the exact same position. I think a lot of people would benefit if they got rid of them. It's happening too much."
Labor floated the idea ahead of the 2019 election, but it was not supported by the government after a residential tenancy law review advised against changing the laws.