LAWS3413/JURD7413 Housing Law

Lecturer: Brendan Edgeworth

What is the course about?
This course examines how the principles of property law come to be applied and modified in the context of residential tenancies. The course will be of no less relevance to those advising landlords than to those advising tenants. The course examines primarily the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW), as well as the Strata Schemes legislation. It is the only undergraduate course to examine this latter body of legislation, which is becoming increasingly important in legal practice. There will be an in-depth examination of the phenomenon of alternative dispute resolution, focusing on the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, a very important area of general legal practice. Students will be required to attend the Tribunal, and write a brief report about the matters they have witnessed. Finally, the course will examine broader policy questions concerning the built environment, homelessness and housing affordability.

Why does this subject interest you?
Because it blends a focus on detailed legal principles, policy development and broader issues of social justice. Rental accommodation is where most poor people reside, and their capacity to exercise their rights directly bears on arguably their most important asset, their home.

Do you have any advice to students who are interested in taking this course?
Do the course whether you are primarily interested in legal practice, or exploring the policy development process, or in social justice. It offers insights into all these areas.

What is an interesting fact about the course?
Many former graduates have gone on to work in the sector, either as solicitors specialising in civil and housing matters at Legal Aid NSW, for the State Government’s Housing NSW, Rental Bond Board, or for the legal arms of NGOs such as the Tenants Union NSW, Combined Pensioners Association, or Tribunal members. Students universally enjoy the course as reflected in CATEI results.