City News

Greens introduce rent and mould protection bill to NSW parliament

Jenny Leong

Residents protest outside the Franklyn Street public housing block in 2020. Photo: Allison Hore.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

Landlords across NSW could only increase rent once every 12 months and would have to ensure that their properties are mould-free under a new Bill that has been introduced to state parliament by Greens Member for Newtown Jenny Leong, who accused the NSW government of being “the worst landlord in the state”.

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, introduced by Leong in March, seeks to confront the “compounding crisis” of rising rents and faltering living conditions in the state’s housing market after flooding across much of Sydney and NSW earlier this year caused severe damage to many properties.

Leong said that recent weather events “have escalated the serious issues of mould and damp in rental properties across the state”, adding that the Bill would “protect renters and stop greedy landlords profiting from substandard homes”.

Leong

Jenny Leong. Photo: Facebook.

Existing regulations ‘not making homes fit for habitation’: Jenny Leong

The Bill, if passed, would also insert provisions for adequate waterproofing, plumbing and drainage in residential premises, and specify grounds for which a landlord can give a termination notice for fixed-term tenancies and periodic agreements.

Leong told parliament last month that “as a renter and as an advocate for renters over many years, I can confidently say that the existing regulations are not making homes fit for habitation”.

“Even at the best of times, poorly insulated, poorly ventilated, leaky and stuffy rental properties are prone to mould outbreaks that cannot possibly be controlled by the measures available to individual tenants,” Leong said. She added that when landlords or real estate agents did address their concerns, tenants were made to feel grateful that issues in their homes had been addressed.

The Bill remains before NSW parliament.

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