New research shows rental market issues for tenants

A survey conducted with more than 1,000 renters, throughout Australia, proves that many have little security of tenure and some households are living in poorly maintained housing, potentially detrimental to their health.

New data released by Choice, National Shelter and National Association of Tenant Organisations (NATO) shows more people are renting than ever before, and many face significant challenges in the rental market.

“Some tenants report maintenance issues that never get fixed, and some don’t even ask landlords to undertake maintenance for fear of being kicked out,” Shelter WA’s spokesperson, Stephen Hall said.

“We are seeing a lot of households on short term leases, often not knowing where they will live in 12 months’ time. This is especially concerning for low and fixed income households such as seniors, who have little other housing options.”

Shelter WA has been advocating for changes to tenancy legislation to ensure affordability and security of tenure for those in the private rental market.

“This research comes at a critical time when housing affordability is being discussed across the nation, but we are yet to see any housing or homelessness policies put forward by the major parities before the WA State election.

“Having a secure place to live also includes not fearing the consequences of bringing maintenance issues to a landlord.”

“The best way to protect tenants ability to bring up maintenance and other issues, would be to remove a landlords ability to end tenancy without a justifiable reason, which they are currently able to do.”

“If laws provided a comprehensive set of reasonable grounds for termination, with notice periods appropriate to each reason, this would ensure tenants were confident the could have maintenance done without the fear of eviction.”

“Longer term we need to shift from individual investors (mum and dad investors) to ones that operate at a greater scale, who hold onto housing longer, and focus on longer term returns.”

The report found that:

  • 83% of Australian renters have no fixed-term lease or are on a lease 12 months long or less
  • 75% of renters agree or strongly agree that competition amongst applicants for a rental property is fierce
  • 61% of renters have had an issue while searching for a property over the past five years
  • 50% of renters are concerned about being ‘blacklisted’
  • 48% of renters have a personal income of less than $35,000 a year
  • 25% of renters had asked for repairs but received no reply


Access Unsettled: Life in Australia’s Private Rental Market to view the full report.



Further comment:

Stephen Hall – 0408426263

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