Most renters have good relationship with landlords: survey

THE long-held image of the cruel and heartless landlord appears to be on its deathbed, with a new survey finding almost two-thirds of renters happy with how they are treated.

But groups that fight for tenants' rights warn the findings are not all good news.

Real estate website surveyed 1241 people this month, posing questions and collecting answers from tenants across the country.

It found 73% have a good relationship with their landlord and most had their rent put up no more than $5 a week.

More than 22%, however, said they were now paying more than $50 a week extra compared to when they first moved in.

Almost 60% felt rental increases were fair and 64% felt they were paying a fair price.

Tenants' Union of New South Wales policy officer Dr Chris Martin said the survey showed tenants and landlords could work together, the figures also showed a quarter of those questioned were struggling.

Dr Martin said questioning the homeowner could be intimidating because both Queensland and NSW allowed landlords to terminate leases without grounds.

"The result is that too many tenants put up with unhappy situations, until such time as an opportunity arises for them to move on," he said.

Dr Martin said while "nightmare landlords" were growing rarer, plenty were not ideal.

"They may be ignorant of the law; they may be up to their necks in debt or otherwise have too little financial capacity to do repairs," he said.

There was still too little protection for tenants in the eyes of the law, he said.

For those needing advice on landlord matters, contact the Tenants' Union NSW on (02) 8117 3700 or the Tenants' Union of Queensland on 1300 744 263.

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