26 September 2023

New rental overseer to keep costs under the roof

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House and home renters in NSW will soon have a strong voice aiming at the Government with sector leader Trina Jones appointed as the State’s first NSW Rental Commissioner.

Announced by the Minister for Fair Trading and Better Regulation, the new Commissioner is expected to work with the Government to design and implement changes to rebalance the rental market by making it fairer and more modern.

The Minister, Anoulack Chanthivong said that in her role as NSW Rental Commissioner, Ms Jones would be a voice for renters and work with the Government and stakeholders to get moving on the reforms open for consultation.

Mr Chanthivong said renters were almost a third of the State and they deserved secure and fair housing.

“Trina’s job will be to advocate and drive meaningful change,” Mr Chanthivong said.

“The housing challenge isn’t just about affordability, it’s about amenity too – and we need rules that let renters get on with their lives with the rights and security they need,” he said.

“We’re consulting now on changes to improve stability and fairness in the rental market, I’m looking forward to working with Trina to bring this work together by the end of the year.”

He said the reforms open for consultation included: Making it easier for renters to have pets in their homes; Ending ‘no-grounds’ evictions; Implementing a portable bonds scheme allowing renters to transfer bonds from one property to another; and Improving the protection of renters’ information and privacy.

“Beyond these proposed changes, the Rental Commissioner will also be responsible for identifying and investigating other issues that are impacting the NSW rental market,” he said.

Newly appointed Rental Commissioner Trina Jones said that taking the role of Rental Commissioner, her mission was to amplify the voice of renters, help strengthen their rights and improve the fairness of the rental market.

“I look forward to working closely and productively with Government, industry, renters and owners across our State as we collaboratively search for solutions to our housing challenges,” Ms Jones said.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said he was looking forward to working with the new Commissioner to make the State a fairer place for both renters and owners.

“We can’t fix years of problems in the rental market overnight, but we have already made a start and we are determined to do more,” he said.

The Commissioner will examine rental affordability and supply, encourage longer term rental agreements, investigate ways to improve energy efficiency for renters, develop educational resources for renters and owners, and monitor current tenancy laws.

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