18.8 C
Byron Shire
October 3, 2023

Options for flood affected tenants and landlords

Latest News

Cinema: The Creator

The Creator – against the backdrop of a war between humans and robots with artificial intelligence, a former soldier finds the secret weapon, a robot in the form of a young child.

Other News

Weed exit and smiley koalas get support

Weed and smiley koalas were on the minds of Tweed Shire Councillors and staff at last week’s council meeting.

Burringbar Bandits go from zero to premiership heroes in one season

The Burringbar Bandits would have settled for less in their first year back in competition, but they did a...

How do you rate the media rating system?

Parents are being asked to have a say on whether Australia’s media classification system is effective in informing decisions around age-appropriate films and video games for children.

Sustainable and regenerative farming

Aussie farmers are a particularly fine vintage. In fact, the average age of an Australian farmer is between 50 and 60 years old. This is the result of a number of interconnected social, economic and ecological challenges that typically inhibit the success of aspiring farmers. 

The Parrott:Baartz Project

On Saturday, Creative Mullum presents the Ingenuity Sculpture Festival with a grand opening featuring sculptures (of course), food, drinks and live music by the region’s most accomplished jazz quartet, The Parrott:Baartz Project. 

‘We have never seen a year like this’

Antarctica’s sea ice has reached its annual maximum – a record low – and has started to recede as temperatures warm during spring.

Flood affected rubbish outside houses along River Street in Ballina. Photo David Lowe.

As the immediate flood crisis recedes, the housing crisis in the Northern Rivers is worse than ever, particularly for tenants in flood affected areas.

Tenants returning to unliveable properties due to flood damage face decisions on what to do with their rental and whether to find new or temporary housing but they do have options, according to Fair Trading NSW.

Fair Trading’s Executive Director of Community Engagement, Andrew Gavrielatos, said returning to find a property uninhabitable is devastating, and the last thing a tenant needs is having to worry about continuing to pay rent while finding emergency accommodation.

Fair Trading Executive Director Community Engagement, Andrew Gavrielatos. Photo supplied.

‘Working out where to live is one thing but trying to extricate yourself from a rental contract at the same time only adds to the woe of experiencing a flood,’ said Mr Gavrielatos .

‘I want to reassure tenants and landlords that there are protections in place to support both parties when it comes to the impacts of natural disasters.

‘For example, if the property is destroyed or becomes uninhabitable, the landlord and tenant can agree to end the tenancy.’

Mr Gavrielatos said even if no agreement is possible, the tenant or landlord can give a written termination notice to end the tenancy immediately or a specified date, on the basis the property is unliveable.

Alternatively, the tenant can move out temporarily and return once repairs have been carried out. The landlord is not obliged to find or pay for the tenant’s temporary accommodation, but a tenant can seek a rent reduction for the time they were unable to live in the premises.

If the property is only partly uninhabitable, the tenant can choose to stay in the property while repairs are being carried out. Tenants should only consider doing this if the damage is relatively minor and there is no ongoing safety risk. In this situation the tenant can ask for a partial reduction in rent.

The tenant and landlord can also decide to formally end the agreement and re-sign a new agreement after the repairs are complete.

‘It’s important to assess whether to stay or go early on, as payments need to be maintained until there is an agreement to reduce rent or end the tenancy,’ said Mr Gavrielatos.

‘We are conscious of the low supply of alternative accommodation in many regions, exacerbated further by the flooding. We encourage owners, tenants and agents to work together collaboratively to ensure the best outcomes at a time of high stress emotional and financial impact.

‘Rest assured we are here to provide advice and support to everyone affected by the floods. Help is at hand so please visit the website or call us,’ he said.

Where to get help

Visit fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/resource-library/publications/natural-disasters or call 13 32 20.

Visit nsw.gov.au/floods to find information on emergency accommodation and financial support services.

For details on emergency accommodation, visit www.nsw.gov.au/life-events/living-nsw/if-you-need-emergency-accommodation.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Lucky, Lucky, Friday the 13th encore!

Experience the enchantment once again – The Magic of the Mundane returns to the Byron Theatre for an encore performance that promises to be nothing short of extraordinary. Written by the brilliant Mikey Bryant of Mt Warning and brought to life by the captivating Elodie Crowe, with the mesmerising accompaniment of Tara Lee Byrne on the cello, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

Bluesfest 2024 – here we go!

Festival Director, Peter Noble OAM, says it’s Bluesfest Byron Bay’s 35th birthday next Easter, and as usual they’ll be rolling out multiple artist announcements over the coming months – here’s a couple of names you might know…

The Almighty Sometimes

The Drill Hall was built in 1916 as home to the Mullumbimby Platoon of the 41st Battalion. It was later converted into a theatre in the 1970s. Over the years the interior was modified with the addition of a stage and raked seating installed in 2016. Thanks to a grant from Regional Development Australia and support from North Coast Events, AAE Industries and JC Coastal Construction, it has now been converted into a modern Black Box Theatre.

Athlete clears hurdle to high perfomance centre

Blade Thompson from the Tweed Little Athletics Centre has been selected to be part of the National High-Performance Camp held in the Gold Coast...