Tenants in the ACT will get better protection as discussions begin to ban evictions in the area for no reason

ACT Attorney General Shane Rattenbury said he has started discussions with stakeholders about how a ban could be implemented “effectively” and “reasonably”

It comes after the government promised to ban the practice during this assembly period following a commitment by Labor and the Greens in their parliamentary and intergovernmental agreement

An eviction without reason allows a landlord to evacuate a tenant at the end of his tenancy without reason, but this must be announced. Tenants can also be excluded at any time if they have a monthly lease

Mr Rattenbury said a ban on no-cause evictions would make the tenure safer and stop “retaliation”

“If someone was a good tenant, took care of the place and always paid the rent on time, we don’t think landlords can just throw them out,” he said

“Sometimes landlords do this because they don’t like being asked to comply with a legal obligation such as property repair or allowing a pet, or because they don’t particularly like the renter

“This gives tenants the right to stay in their home for years unless the landlord has a real reason to terminate a tenancy or use the home for purposes that are not being rented

“This obligation to stop evictions without cause is important to keep tenants safe and prevent retaliation”

The obligation to ban unreasonable evictions was negotiated by the Greens, who urged the amendment at the last meeting. Legislation banning the practice proposed by the Green MLA, Caroline Le Couteur, has been blocked by Labor and Liberals

“The Greens went to the polls with a focus on housing and improving tenants’ rights,” said Rattenbury

“This was one of many important Greens commitments that we negotiated and we are delighted that this is part of our parliamentary and governing agreement”

A 2019 report by the Productivity Commission found that banning unreasonable evictions could improve the welfare of vulnerable private renters, especially those who feared retaliation for asking for repairs or maintenance

Joel Dignam, Executive Director of Better Renting, agreed, saying he believed the changes would give tenants more confidence to speak for themselves or ask for repairs

“Unless renters have to worry that much about retaliation, which on paper isn’t an eviction for no reason, it means they are more likely to ask for their stove to be repaired,” he said

“The problem that tenants are afraid of retaliation and are now standing up for themselves is a problem that tenants across the country face”

Nick Herrald said he and his partner received an eviction last year for no reason. He said he and his partner were “exemplary tenants” who always paid their rent on time and kept the house clean

But he said they would get an eviction notice after a dispute with their landlord

Mr. Herrald welcomed the government’s commitment and said it would give tenants greater rights. He said the eviction caused him great stress

“If evictions weren’t legal for no reason, they couldn’t have done anything,” he said

“At the time, it kept me from sleeping and I spent all night googling the [ACT Civil and Administrative Court] decisions instead of being able to relax in my own house”

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The ACT

World News – AU – In the ACT, evacuation rentals could soon be banned for no reason

Source: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6999718/no-cause-rental-evictions-could-soon-be-banned-in-the-act/