Author and acknowledgements

This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of Fair Trading NSW and the Law and Justice Foundation.

NSW Fair Trading (a division of the Department of Finance and Services) safeguards consumer rights, regulates specific industries and occupations, and advises traders on fair and ethical business practices.

The Law and Justice Foundation seeks to advance the fairness and equity of the justice system and to improve access to justice, especially for socially and economically disadvantaged people.

Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fair Trading NSW or the Law and Justice Foundation’s Board of Governors.

About the author

Dr Chris Martin is Research Fellow, Housing Policy and Practice, at the City Futures Research Centre, University of New South Wales. He was previously the Senior Policy Officer of the Tenants' Union of NSW, and has also worked for a Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service and a community housing provider. He was also previously chairperson of Shelter NSW and a member of the NSW State Government's Property Services Advisory Council. He holds honours degrees in economics and law, and a PhD, from the University of Sydney. His doctoral thesis is a study of public housing in New South Wales. He lives in Sydney, where he has been housed variously as an owner-occupier, tenant, co-tenant, head-tenant, sub-tenant and lodger.


The Tenants’ Union gratefully acknowledges Robert Mowbray and Phillipa Bellemore, each the author of previous editions of the Tenants’ Rights Manual, and the standard each set in making tenancy legal information accessible and useful to tenants and their advocates.

Production of this fourth edition of the Tenants’ Rights Manual was funded by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW and the community grants program operated by NSW Fair Trading. The Tenants’ Union is grateful for the support of each organisation.

A number of persons assisted in the production of this edition of the manual.

Thanks to members of the Tenants’ Rights Manual User Reference Group: Jessica Abi Khattar, Shelley Alvarez, Denise Beckwith, Julie Foreman, Charlotte Jones, Charmaine Jones, Bridget Kennedy, Robert Mowbray, Luke O’Connell, Ruth Simon and Mirjana Zagani.

Thanks to members of the Tenants’ Rights Manual Legal Reference Group: Grant Arbuthnot, Ned Cutcher, Carl Freer, Prue Mewburn, Leo Patterson Ross and Paul Smyth.

Thanks to Di Evans, Sean Ferns and Julie Lee for their comments on the section on residential parks, and to Robert Mowbray for his comments on the section on protected tenancies.

Thanks to Gregor Macfie, formerly Executive Officer of the Tenants’ Union, for getting this edition of the manual started; to Julie Foreman, current Executive Officer, for getting it finished; and to Sue Scott, Tenants’ Union Chair (at the time), and Jane Kenny, of the Law and Justice Foundation, for their assistance with the publication process. Thanks to Pam Mowbray for proof reading, and to the Legal Information Access Centre at the State Library of NSW for distribution and making the manual accessible to tenants.

Finally, thanks to the advocates in the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services, for the way they examine, use and test the law for their clients, and share their experiences and insights with each other and the Tenants’ Union. This manual is informed by their experiences and insights and, we hope, contributes something in return to the excellent work they do for tenants.