Law students to fight for tenants’ rights

10 Oct 2014

Queensland tenants’ rights will be better protected thanks to a new specialist Tenancy Law Clinic, the first of its kind in Queensland.

The clinic is a joint project between the University of Queensland Pro Bono Centre and Tenants Queensland, made possible by $50,000 in funding from The Ian Potter Foundation.

UQ Pro Bono Centre Director Monica Taylor said the clinic would involve senior law students providing residential tenancy law assistance to Queensland tenants.

“The student clinic will greatly benefit the community by providing access to justice for highly vulnerable tenants, including single parents, refugees, people living on social security and people in marginal housing,” Ms Taylor said.

“Law students will benefit by gaining legal practice experience in tenancy law, helping them build important practical skills that are difficult to develop in the classroom.

“Residential tenancy law is an area that many law students, being renters themselves, are familiar with.

“This clinic will allow students to use their legal skills to help Queensland tenants at risk of eviction and homelessness.”

Tenants Queensland Statewide Coordinator Penny Carr said the group appreciated the support from The Ian Potter Foundation and UQ.

“Tenants Queensland has experienced a rising demand for our services,” she said.

“This clinic will increase our capacity to meet tenants’ needs while providing an opportunity for us to participate in the education of up and coming Queensland legal practitioners.”

The clinic will begin in March 2015 and will operate every academic semester for a period of three years from Tenants Queensland premises in Brisbane.