While Australian state and territory governments do not have unified residential tenancy laws, there has been some debate about no grounds evictions and improving security of tenure for renters. The policy debate centres upon finding a fair balance between the rights of property owners to be free to do what they wish with their property, with the rights of tenants who are paying for the service of safe and secure housing (i.e. their home).
What is security of tenure?
Being able to call the rented dwelling one is living in ‘home’ means more than just living in a property that is of adequate standard, safe, reasonably comfortable and quiet. It also means having security of tenure, meaning the extent to which households can make a home and stay there for reasonable periods if they wish to do so, provided that they meet their legal obligations (such as paying the rent and respecting the property). AHURI research which examined the private rental sector of 10 different countries found the policy settings which influenced security of tenure for tenants included grounds for eviction, rent regulation and fixed term tenancies. So what role do each of these play and how does Australia’s current policy settings compare with other countries?
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