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

The Tenants’ Union ACT is a not for profit organisation working to change policy and legislation to improve the situation for renters in the ACT. We also offer online information for people renting their homes in the ACT.

We provide this website containing information that can assist renters in private residential as well as community housing properties and residents in other forms of accommodation such as campus residences, boarding and lodging properties and caravan parks.

We aim to inform and educate renters about their rights, improve conditions for renters, improve the status of renters and represent the collective interests of renters in law and policy making.

Renting Information is the best place to start if you want to learn about your rights, responsibilities and options for resolving disputes.  You’ll find 26 Factsheets on common renting issues, 19 Sample Letters to help you write to your landlord or property manager, as well as a searchable index of over 50 Frequently Asked Questions.

Advice – if you are needing specific advice see our advice page for links and details

Topical Tips

By registering as a subscriber you can access over 50 FAQs that cover common issues not dealt with in our factsheets

How do I claim my bond?

Do I have to sign a new lease when my fixed term ends?

Can I end my tenancy on a weekend, public holiday or over a holiday period?

My home has been flooded, what do I do?

For more Tips see our FAQs,

****** If you have a question or topic just put a key word in our search box and you can see all relevant information *******

Latest Facebook Posts

7 months ago

Tenants' Union ACT
Jocelyn Newman, Minister for Housing, under the newly voted in Howard Liberal Government got it terribly wrong when she defunded Nation Shelter in 1997. Her reasons, " Why should we fund an organisation that criticises our policies". Decades of not listening to community needs has resulted in a crisis in housing and therefore increased homelessness. All this crisis could have been avoided! Cassandra mic drop!National Shelter welcomes the announcements from National Cabinet today to strengthen renters’ rights and for planning reforms to increase the housing supply and affordability.Full media release below. ... See MoreSee Less
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12 months ago

Tenants' Union ACT
Yep. Nothing more to say. Except a bit of a language warning. ... See MoreSee Less
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1 years ago

Tenants' Union ACT
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Tenants’ Union ACT publishes this website as a service to the Canberra public. Please note that the information on this site is only relevant to renters in the ACT.

This website provides information about the law designed to help users understand legal rights and obligations. However legal information is not the same as legal advice (the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). Although we make all efforts to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult the Tenants Advice Service for advice specific to your circumstances. You are also able to consult an independent solicitor for a second opinion.

Please note that this website is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice or opinions and the transmission of this information is NOT intended to create a solicitor-client relationship between the Tenants’ Union ACT and members of the public.

Tenants’ Union ACT makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.  Please also note when the page was last updated, as the law may have changed.

This website and its contents are the copyright of Tenants' Union ACT – © 2020. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than the following. You may print or download contents to a local hard disk for your personal and non-commercial use only. You may copy some extracts only to individual third parties for their personal use, but only if you acknowledge the website as the source of the material. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. You may not transmit it or store it on any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.