- The Guardian
- Issue #2053
Photo: Ashley Brown – flickr.com (CC BY-NC 2.0)
The NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS) “broadly supports” the state government’s Bill in Parliament to better protect renters, but has expressed concern around some components. NCOSS Acting CEO Ben McAlpine said the portable bonds scheme would make a real difference for NSW renters if implemented properly.
“The situation where you need to fork out a bond for the next rental while waiting for a refund from your existing one is simply untenable for low income households,” McAlpine said. “It acts as a financial barrier to moving to a more suitable house, and adds to the significant financial pressure of moving house.
“A portable bond scheme will reduce stress and strain on renters, so we are pleased to see this sensible measure included in the Bill.” However, McAlpine expressed concern around the move to require rental agents to notify applicants of offers higher than the advertised price, and said this could actually push prices higher.”
McAlpine warned of the potential consequences, that disclosing a higher offer to every applicant would result in a bidding war that knocks out candidates.
The research shows the devastating reality of poverty in NSW right now, and those in the private rental market are bearing the brunt of it, McAlpine said. “The Federal Budget only marginally increased JobSeeker payments, which puts more pressure on the NSW government to take urgent action to further support unemployed and low-income families.”