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Research shows most renters evicted without cause or reason
Tuesday, 30 October, 2012
Media release: Tenants' Union of Queensland
New research released today reveals the growing incidence and impact of forced evictions on Queensland renters. The report Forced eviction: cause and consequence, makes a significant contribution to the existing body of research about evictions in Australia.
Secretary-General of the Swedish-based International Union of Tenants, Mr Magnus Hammar, will launch the report at today's forum - Exploring the Private Rental Market and Security of Tenure - after the official opening by Housing Minister, Dr Bruce Flegg, at 1pm.
Our desire in conducting this research was to investigate the circumstances of eviction and tenants' experiences of being evicted, said Ms Penny Carr, report co-author and coordinator of the Tenants' Union of Queensland. We are confident that this research will better equip government and the housing sector to support renters and to inform tenancy-related policy and law reform.
From 2011 to 2012, the TUQ conducted a series of in-depth interviews with over 40 tenants about their experience of being forcibly evicted. Those interviewed included tenants from the full spectrum of the rental housing market: from high cost private rentals through to affordable social and community housing.
A major finding of the report was that evictions often occurred for no stated reason. The research also found that many of the purported grounds for eviction were not by the tenant under Queensland's residential tenancy laws. Retaliatory evictions - which arise in a situation where a tenant is evicted after seeking to assert his or her tenancy rights - were commonplace.
Tenants reported that the experience of eviction was a difficult and traumatic event, most especially for elderly tenants and for those households with children. For a significant number of households, forced eviction became a pathway to homelessness.
We hope that this research will lead to better policy and legal responses to help prevent avoidable evictions, said Ms Carr. It is clear that much more work needs to be done to better understand eviction in the context of a growing rental housing market.
Forced eviction: cause and consequence will be formally launched today at a National Housing Conference Fringe Forum: Exploring the Private Rental Sector and Security of Tenure, Tuesday 30 October 2012, 1pm to 4pm, Southbank Institute of Technology Function Centre.