The Western Sydney Tenants’ Service (WESTS) has been servicing the Western Sydney community for over ten years. We have built and maintained relationships with stakeholders and individual members of the community. This is something that WESTS prides themselves in.
Though we continue to provide advice and at times, advocacy and representation to our clients for matters at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, we have also committed ourselves to educating the community and caseworkers of various organisations regarding basic tenancy rights and obligations.
Educating others in their tenancy rights and obligations is crucial – there have been many cases where clients, unaware of their rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 have been coerced to accept unfair conditions or are misled to believe that they have no rights under the Act.
We have also engaged in information sessions for owners and tenants of residential land lease communities within the Western Sydney area regarding the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013.
Organisations and individual members of the community alike have commented that the community education and information sessions provided by our team have been beneficial in providing tenants with the confidence to exert their rights, or for individuals to advocate for other vulnerable clients, friends, and families.
As pictured, one of our tenant advocates, Francesco, attended a community education/information session with a culturally and linguistically diverse group, guiding them through the changes to the Moratorium that had ended on 26 March 2021 in response to COVID-19, and how to negotiate a rental arrears repayment plan or specific performance order to ‘save their tenancy’.
In the past, the tenant advocates of WESTS have engaged in sessions for victims of domestic violence wishing to terminate their lease, recently arrived migrants renting a property in New South Wales for the first time, and clients self-representing at the Tribunal.
Navigating the state legislation and regulations along with the bombardment of information across various forums regarding tenancy is quite daunting – but we are here to help guide tenants on the right path!
If you are a Program Manager or an Organisation that is interested in knowing more about our program and whether we have the capacity to engage in a Community Education session with your service – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org