Homelessness Australia chief executive Trina Jones will step into the role as the state’s first rental commissioner, promising to be a voice for renters.
Her appointment comes amid “staggering” rent rises across Australia, led by Sydney, the nation’s most expensive rental market.
While the national average for a rental property has risen by 11.8 per cent to sit at $520 per week, Sydney’s rental prices have risen by 13.8 per cent in the past year to reach $620 per week, according to PropTrack.
Apartments are only marginally below that cost at a median $595 per week after a staggering 19 per cent increase in the past 12 months.
“In taking on the role of rental commissioner, my mission is to amplify the voice of renters, help strengthen their rights and improve the fairness of the rental market,” she said.
“I look forward to working closely and productively with government, industry, renters and owners across our state as we collaboratively search for solutions to our housing challenges.”
Ms Jones will work with the state government to design and implement legislative change with the aim to “rebalance the rental market” and make it fairer.
Reforms that will be on Ms Jones’ plate as she steps into the role include ending ‘no-grounds’ evictions, improving the protection of renters’ information and privacy, and making it easier for renters to have pets.
'Important step' to help renters
NSW Premier Chris Minns said her appointment was an “important step”.
“Anyone who rents in NSW knows just how anxious and challenging the process can be to find suitable accommodation, not to mention the rent increases and cost of living pressures,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to working with the new commissioner to make our state a fairer place for both renters and owners.
“We can’t fix years of problems in the rental market overnight, but we have already made a start and we are determined to do more.”
Though the whole of Australia has faced rental increases, the problem is particularly bad for NSW.
Rents in the capital cities have risen by a “staggering” 17 per cent in a year, led by Sydney and Melbourne.
“Rental markets continue to be extremely challenging for renters, with rents surging across much of the country amid strong demand and very limited availability,” PropTrack report author Angus Moore said.
“This is especially true in Sydney and Melbourne, where weekly rents have increased significantly after falling in these cities during 2020 and 2021.”
Those hoping to find a cheaper price by moving into a unit will be sorely mistaken, with large increases in the cost of renting an apartment.
Sydney unit rents have risen by 19.0 per cent in the past year, followed by Melbourne at 17.5 per cent and Brisbane at 15.3 per cent.
- NCA Newswire
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