Welcome to the website of the Tenants’ Union ACT.
Unfortunately the Tenants’ Union will soon be winding up the organisation because we cannot continue as a volunteer organisation.
We are no longer able to offer the information on this website because there are a few things that are no longer up to date. We will soon be shutting down this website.
What happened to the TU?
Tenants’ Union ACT commenced operation in 1981 as a volunteer organisation of people committed to renters’ rights. In 1994, we received funding from the ACT Government to provide the Tenants’ Advice Service (TAS). For 25 years we provided a specialist legal service for renters in the ACT, and as a community legal centre, so much more than just advice.
We are proud that our organisation also advocated for all renters in the ACT, providing a voice for renting issues to the ACT Government and community. We provided training and information as well as celebrating renters through events like our annual International Tenants’ Day art exhibition and other related community events.
Unfortunately, funding for the service never matched demand and, unlike other community organisations, did not increase commensurate with mandated wage increases. In 2018, we identified the shortfall and asked for a proportionate increase in funding. The ACT Government undertook a review of the TAS that was never published but found it was a niche and “go to” service for anything to do with private tenancy matters. The review recommended the Government work with us in the spirit of collaboration on a new funding agreement.
In 2019, with no warning, the ACT Government announced the TAS would be put out to tender. We fought hard and did the best we could with significant community support in the limited timeframe. Unfortunately, Legal Aid ACT won the tender and provides the ACT advice service. Our funding was cancelled, and we had to close our doors on 28/02/2020. This was devastating for our staff, volunteers, clients and supporters.
For three years the volunteer committee kept this site operating because we knew the value of the information collected here after many years operating as tenancy specialists. It is sadness and regret that the decision was made to accept it is no longer possible to maintain it. We are negotiating with ACT Shelter to determine what information can be held and maintain by them. We urge people to follow Shelter on Facebook to keep up to date with ACT renting issues, https://www.facebook.com/actshelter