Last week, COTA SA was pleased to see Andrea Michaels MP, Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs, introduce the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill into Parliament.
Secure housing plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of older South Australians, but a variety of factors mean that it is rapidly moving out of reach for an increasing number of them. As home ownership and access to public housing decreases, an increasing number of older South Australians rely on private rental housing. Currently, 20% of older (55+) Australian households are renters. COTA’s recent State of the Older Nation research found that around two-thirds of older renters are worried about becoming homeless in the next 12 months.
With an increasing number of older people relying on the private rental market as a long-term housing option, the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 is an important vehicle to improve the viability of the private rental market.
COTA SA enthusiastically welcomes these law amendments, which will increase consumer protection and housing security for renters, including:
- Limiting the reasons for a landlord to end a lease
- Extending the notice period from 28 to 60 days
- Support for survivors of domestic violence
- Allowing tenants to have pets
- Establishment of a new tenant advocacy service.
During its consultation phase, COTA SA made a submission to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill highlighting the importance of secure housing. The changes, if passed, will make a real difference to renters, a fast-growing cohort of which are vulnerable older people.
We look forward to sharing further information on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and what this means for older renters.