Media release: Renters welcome Government caution on commercial guarantees

Renters rights organisation Better Renting has come out in support of the ACT Government’s move to delay commercial guarantees, just days after regulations came into effect to allow their operation.

Joel Dignam, Director of Better Renting, welcomed the decision. “We’ve been hearing from renters concerned about facing additional costs just to secure a roof over their head. We applaud the Government’s responsiveness to community concern on this issue.”

Mr. Dignam also urged the ACT Government to take this opportunity to reduce the difficulties of bonds for people who rent in the ACT.

“Bonds can cause real challenges for people who rent, and this is an opportunity to address these problems,” said Mr. Dignam.

“The ACT Government should simplify the application process for bond loans and require lessors to advertise the availability of bond loans in rental advertising. They should also crack down on landlords failing to lodge bonds, and make sure that infractions are properly penalised.”

Renters around the ACT also responded positively to the news.

“Commercial guarantees would have meant paying someone else to make it harder to exercise our rights as renters,” said James Goldie, who rents in Bonner. “The Rental Bond Loan Scheme helped when I didn’t have the money for a bond, and there were no fees.”

Clare Moore, a renter from Lyneham, said “I’m glad that commercial guarantees are being deferred. This stay means that, for now, renters know they won’t be cheated out of yet more money by yet another party.”