New laws starting this week provide protection to Northern Territory renters from being unfairly ‘blacklisted’ and excluded from the private rental market. The new laws will ensure that renters are notified of listings and provide them with the opportunity to correct inaccurate information.

The laws mark the start of reforms that will make residential tenancies more ‘safe, fair and certain’ in a market where over 50% of the population rent their home.

As owning your own home becomes more difficult, a greater number of people will be renting for longer periods. With one of the largest rental markets in Australia, Northern Territory incentives and legislation are still geared towards home ownership.

Darwin Community Legal Service (DCLS) welcomes the commitment of the Northern Territory Government to conduct a review of the Residential Tenancies Act. The review should adopt best practice in residential tenancies and support housing affordability and security.

DCLS supports making renting fair and safe through: • the establishment of an independent bond board; • protections for victims of domestic violence; • longer term tenancies and longer notice periods; • protections against evictions without reason; and • minimum standards of habitability and safety.

“Most people want to make their house a home, therefore fairer arrangements will provide security for both landlords and tenants. If we are going to attract and retain students, families and workers in the Northern Territory they need to know that they will be treated fairly when renting housing”, states Tamara Spence, Manager of the Tenants’ Advice Service.

If you are a tenant and are seeking information regarding your tenancy, contact DCLS’s Tenants’ Advice Service on free call 1800 812 953.

Media Contact: Tamara Spence, Tenants’ Advice Service 08 8982 1111 Linda Weatherhead, Executive Director 0417 110 127

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