Australia's National Association of Tenant Organisations (NATO) oversees the individual organisations that make up the country's tenants union movement. Included in the group are:
Each organisation provides legal advice and information in their state or territory, with specialisations according to their region's needs. For example, housing relief in flood-affected parts of Queensland.
The housing tenants collective focuses solely on residential property matters including:
Specific housing causes the tenants association collective are involved in include:
The ACT's Tenants Union is an independent legal centre initially established by tenants. TU assists private, public and community housing tenants, as well as boarders and lodgers, caravan parks and emergency accommodation. The group also conducts free community education on renting issues.
The organisation works with the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Housing ACT, the ACT Government, the Office of Rental Bonds, the Real Estate Institute regarding tenants' rights and fair rental housing.
The union is funded from interest earned off bond monies held by the Office of Rental Bonds.
The NSW tenants union provides free information and advocacy for renters throughout the state. The group offers both general and specialist services such as housing for Aboriginal tenants and older tenants.
The tenants union's services are funded by the NSW Office of Fair Trading's Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program. It is also accredited by the National Association of Community Legal Centres.
The Tenants Advice Service offers Territory-wide advice and advocacy. The organisation's goal is to protect the rights of people living in rental accommodation including caravan parks and boarding houses.
Popular community services the group offers include: tenant assistance in filling out rental agreements; advice for issues such as rent arrears, rent increases, repairs and eviction; negotiation with landlords on a tenant's behalf; and representation before the Commissioner of Tenancies or the Local Court.
The service was established in 2007 under a three-year pilot program.
Tasmania's union for tenants offers free services including referrals, advocacy and advice. The group also conducts community legal education and training in tenancy-related issues.
The union's services are have support in high places, including: the Tasmanian State Government; Housing Tasmania; and the Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition to being a member of NATO, the organisation is part of the National Association of Community Legal Centres, the International Union of Tenants, Tasmanian Association of Community Legal Centres, Shelter Tasmania and TasCOSS
Established in 1979, Western Australia's free Tenants Advice Service is the only specialist legal advice service for tenants in the state. The organisation provides assistance to both tenants and community workers assisting tenants. The Tenants Advice Service also lobbies for tenants law and policy reform.
The Commonwealth Community Legal Service Program and the State Department of Commerce are joint funders of the Tenants Advice Service. Through the service tenants can access legal advocacy and information via advice lines, free-call numbers and online. TAS also provides training and workshops for interested parties.
The tenant unions do not work with landlords or tenants in a co-tenancy dispute in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
The information contained in TenancyCheck.com.au website is general information only and does not constitute legal, financial or compliance advice. As the laws relating to tenancy agreements may have changed we recommend you check with the relevant State or Territory government department. We also recommend that you obtain your own independent legal advice about matters relating to landlord obligations, tenant rights and any legal disputes you may have with a tenant(s).