About Better Renting

Better Renting is building a community of renters working together for stable, affordable, and liveable homes. With more Australians locked out of home-ownership, more of us are renting, and renting for longer. But renters don't enjoy the same rights and protections as home-owners. We can't all own a house - but we should all be able to rent a home.

Better Renting exists to build the political power of people who rent. We bring a non-partisan community organising approach to rental reform, developing leadership in a community of renters so that people who rent can own and lead campaigns to improve our housing and make our lives better. We aim to humanise renting and renters, showcasing the diversity and breadth of this community, and making sure that our stories and experiences are central whenever housing is discussed. Renting can be a genuine alternative to home-ownership - and Better Renting exists to make it happen.

Our Board

Lani Perlesz - Chair

Lani is a Canberra-based renter with a passion for communal living. Lani has broad experience in policy development and research across government. She currently manages government research projects aimed at better understanding human behaviour and using these insights to help solve complex public policy problems. Lani holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Development Studies and Graduate Certificate in Public Policy.

Michael Mazengarb - Treasurer

Michael is an energy and climate change policy analyst, based in Sydney. He has served in a variety of roles directly focused on the design and delivery of climate change and energy policy, including with Federal, State and Territory Governments, and Non-Government Organisations. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the ANU and has served on the boards of various environmental NGOs.

Maiy Azize - Secretary

Maiy Azize is an experienced communicator, manager and social researcher. Maiy is the Director of Media and Communications at Anglicare Australia, a national network of agencies linked to the Anglican Church. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in population studies and political science, and a Master of Social Research from the Australian National University.

Sophia Walter

Sophia Walter is a renter and a campaign communications specialist. She has worked around the world and Australia on the important link between environmental conservation and the people it directly involves. Sophia has a Bachelor of International Relations, a Master of Journalism, and professional experience with a political office, Fairfax Media, environmental organisations, a native title organization, and an investment firm.


Varo is an Adelaide-based renter with a background in law, politics and grassroots campaigning. Varo currently works in Policy Development at the SA Housing Authority, responsible for developing and advising on operational policy in public and social housing, emergency accommodation, remote Aboriginal housing, and private rental assistance. Varo holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of International Studies, and is currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy.

Leo Patterson Ross

Leo Patterson Ross was born and continues to work on unceded lands of the Gadigal people. Justice around land and housing has been his goal for more than a decade in roles across community development and tenant advocacy. His role as Senior Policy Officer at the Tenants' Union of NSW leads the organisation's response to a changing renting system, with a focus on assisting renters, their advocates, and the broader public to understand, navigate, and question the way NSW and Australia houses its people.

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