RBA ECONOMIST RIGHT TO HIGHLIGHT SECURITY OF TENURE FOR RENTERS

17 Feb 2017

Comments from Reserve Bank of Australia head of economics Dr Luci Ellis that suggest renters need more security of tenure are a welcome addition to the housing debate.

Comments from Reserve Bank of Australia head of economics Dr Luci Ellis that suggest renters need more security of tenure are a welcome addition to the housing debate.

Dr Ellis told a housing research conference in Melbourne that over the 13 years to 2015, around 60 per cent of owners stayed put whereas 75 per cent of renters moved. Eighteen per cent moved five or more times.

"We know that moving house can be disruptive and costly," Dr Ellis said. "So I question whether all those moves by renters were desired by those households. Many renters are happy with their current home, but are required to move because the lease expired or the landlord sold the property. "

The statement comes on the back of a report released yesterday by Choice, the National Association of Tenant Organisations and National Shelter which shows that Australia is performing poorly when it comes to renters’ rights and compared to similar nations, Australian renters have fewer rights to secure, long term leases.

The report shows that 83 percent of renters have no fixed-term lease or are on a lease of 12 months or less. Since 1995, the proportion of Australian households renting from a private landlord has increased from 20 percent to 26 percent.

Australian tenancy laws have not kept pace with the new reality that more people are renting, and for longer. In order for these people to live in a secure home, reform of tenancy laws is needed.

The Turnbull Government should be working with State and Territory governments to set national minimum private rental market standards that reflect the right of people who rent long-term to access and remain in adequate, affordable and appropriate housing with protection of their rights as citizens and consumers.

FRIDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2017