ACT Election Rental Policy Scorecard

Better Renting is building a community of renters working together for stable, affordable, and healthy homes. This blog shares a brief assessment of the key rental policies for the three key parties contesting the 2020 ACT Election.

Our scorecard on rental policies for the ACT election

Unfair evictions or "no grounds" evictions

Unfair evictions are when a landlord can end a tenancy without having to provide a reason. They take away the security that renters deserve in their homes. We've written more about this issue here. Our position is that unfair eviction should be eradicated, and landlords allowed to end a tenancy only for specific reasons.

Liberals/Labor: Both the Liberals and Labor voted in 2019 to keep unfair evictions. Smart Vote Australia records that no Liberal or Labor candidates support preventing such evictions.

Greens: The Greens support ending unfair evictions. The Greens argue that evictions should only end when there is a legitimate reason, such as a non-payment of rent, or when a landlord wants to live in their house. The Green’s platform on the issue acknowledges that retaliatory evictions exist and aims to stamp them out.

Rental affordability

Rental affordability determines whether renters can keep a roof over their head and have enough left to put food on the table and pay their bills. Better Renting supports increasing the supply of housing, especially public and community housing, to lower housing costs for all Canberrans.

Liberals: The Liberals have put forth a plan for a $100 million line of credit to Canberra’s Community Housing Providers to provide 1,200 new affordable homes over a four year period. In addition, they have promised 60 new public housing properties and upgrades to 1,000 existing properties across the ACT.

Labor: Labor plans to invest $120 million to build 1,260 new public housing properties of which 260 will be new social housing properties. Labor will also dedicate a minimum of 15% of the Indicative Land Release Program’s residential land releases to affordable, community and public housing.

Greens: The Greens would invest $200 million into new social housing over the four years providing 400 new properties for people in need. In addition, they will spend an additional $200 million focused on incentives, land releases, removal of restrictions, rate exemptions and funding that will lead to more than 600 new affordable rentals.

Healthy homes

People who rent deserve homes that keep them healthy through the cold of winter and the heat of summer, without excessive utility costs. Better Renting supports minimum health and safety standards for rental properties to help renters have better health and more affordable energy.

Liberals: The Liberals provide no information about their approach to energy efficiency and liveability. One Liberal MLA has said that the Liberals do not oppose minimum standards. However, the Canberra Liberals have recently opposed two separate legislative attempts to establish minimum standards or powers to create minimum standards, and the party has no public policy on this issue.

Labor: The current government has committed to minimum energy performance standards for rental properties and Labor recently passed legislation to begin the process of putting such standards in place.

Greens: The Greens will strengthen the laws so that tenants can give rectification notices to improve the energy efficiency of their rental houses. Their Zero Emissions Future initiative includes $50 million to improve efficiency and sustainability of poor energy rental properties. The Greens support minimum standards and have introduced two bills for their creation in 2011 and 2019.