Who is welcome? Are X voters welcome? Is RAHU political?

RAHU is not affiliated with nor endorses any political party. We believe the union is the best path to action on housing, rather than political parties. RAHU believes the housing crisis has been enabled by governments from both major parties. RAHU is political as housing is a political issue. RAHU has a safer spaces policy and does not tolerate bigotry. Marginalised communities are affected disproportionately by housing insecurity.

Is RAHU a real union?

RAHU is not a trade union, as such, it is not associated with the ACTU. RAHU operates in a similar way to a trade union, except in the context of renting and housing. RAHU is an incorporated organisation. RAHU follows organising strategies and structure as other tenants unions across the world. We have the capacity to provide advice and resources to enable renters to self-advocate.

What are the benefits of joining?

Assistance from our Renters Rights Team and branch delegates. Access to our resources. You are part of a network of people organising against the housing crisis, and you can help us fight it. We cover minor application costs, like land title searches (to find your landlord), and state based Tribunal applications. We have a deal with Earthworker Construction Co-op where we can directly fix urgent repairs on the landlord’s dime. Conditions apply including: the landlord is unresponsive, the co-op can fix it, and the fix costs less than $2500.

Will this cause a bad relationship with my landlord/agency?

An agency acts to represent the landlord, give them advice and much more. RAHU just aims to give you equal footing in this relationship. The landlord/tenant relationship is a business transaction to them, but a home to you. Often landlords will comply with the law and standing up for yourself will have no negative consequences. Some landlords will treat you poorly and break the law even if you are professional, courteous, and just asserting your rights. If your landlord is not following the law, or otherwise treating you poorly, you already have a bad relationship with your landlord. We go to great lengths to protect membership data from landlords and real estate agents, so any association with RAHU should come with your consent.

What are the fees? Where do they go?

$0-$30/month depending on your circumstances. Paying dues is our collective way to demonstrate our commitment to the union. RAHU is run by its members: volunteers. All decisions, including financial, are made by the union democratically. All members can vote and participate in decision making. 10% of our total income goes to “Pay The Rent”. Major ongoing operational union costs include administrative fees, insurance, outreach material, and software subscriptions. Union members are welcome to audit the union, i.e. see our finances, independently and via our audit committee.

What’s the difference between RAHU and orgs like Tenants Victoria? 

RAHU is a union, which is a membership based organisation, funded and run by its members. Tenants Vic is a state funded legal service, and doesn’t have a membership.
Tenants Vic is notoriously hard to get a hold of, and only takes extreme long term cases on. RAHU provides ongoing support. RAHU is also fighting to end the housing crisis and improve housing for all.

Do you have any lawyers?

We have ongoing relationships with lawyers and community legal centres who provide us advice, consulting and depending on circumstances, take on cases from RAHU.

How do I get involved?

Become a member and come along to your branch meeting. Some good first tasks include flyering, protests, helping us contact our members. We have social media, mailing lists, discord and signal groups to keep engaged with the union.

What is a branch? How is RAHU structured?

There are local branches. Each branch has Delegates, who are elected by their branch membership. Branches work to do local outreach, support, campaigning, lobbying and anything else the branch decides to do. We also have committees, who work on different areas like media, renters rights, and operations who all contribute work to keep the union running, and provide support to our membership. Participation (do what you can) in the union is encouraged, it’s the only way RAHU keeps running. RAHU is democratic. Members are encouraged to attend meetings to vote and contribute their opinion on how the union should operate.