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What we do
About Us

We are the South East Queensland Union of Renters (SEQUR), a directly democratic union of renters. We are sick and tired of renters being abused and exploited by real estates and landlords. No one deserves to live in substandard conditions, or with the risk of eviction and rent hikes constantly over their head, but this has been the situation for most renters for too long.

SEQUR was created in the middle of 2021 in response to the deteriorating renting conditions and punitive treatment of renters. Renters in Queensland are increasingly experiencing the following realities:

  • Housing insecurity
  • Rental price hikes
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Unsafe housing conditions
  • Eviction into homelessness

Sound all too familiar? Unfortunately, you are not alone. The purpose of SEQUR is to create a space for people who do not manage their own housing to come together and collectively act to improve their rental situation through tenant unionism. Since SEQUR’s inception we have:

  • Stood up to landlord and real estate harassment;
  • Pressured landlords to make long-overdue repairs;
  • Prevented evictions;
  • Protested, and won. Join our fight! Despite the fact that landlords have wealth, the courts, and politicians on their side, we still have more power in each other.

What is Tenant Unionism

Tenant unionism is based on the same premise as workplace unionism. Individually, tenants have limited power and influence to stand up to landlords and real estates, but collectively, we are strong. Just think about how workplace conditions have improved over the decades because of collective action by workers through their unions i.e., better wages, maximum working hours, paid holidays, paid maternity leave etc.

We can do the same for renters with tenant unionism.

A tenants union is a space in which tenants can come together to discuss the issues facing them and fight to have them resolved. Tenant unionism's effectiveness stems from its collective approach. That is why we encourage all SEQUR members to participate in the union's activities and decisions in whatever capacity they can. We understand decisions are more effective when made collectively, and that struggles need to be led by the rank and file of a union.

Our Principles

Tenants and landlords have conflicting interests.

This is not about the moral character of the parties involved. It is the consequence of a system that transforms a fundamental human right and societal need into an investment. Ultimately, the tenant-landlord dynamic revolves around power.

Tenants' interests demand lower rent as well as secure leases. Landlords, operating in a system that puts profits before people's needs, desire the polar opposite, not just in individual cases but as a class. Their interests demand higher rents and a lack of tenant security. Because of this, there will always be conflict between landlords and tenants.

Landlords are well aware of this conflict and wage it strategically to their advantage; as a result, tenants must take decisive action. The continual cycle of exploitation and social disruption is unavoidable if we expect landlords and their representatives to act in ways that benefit both renters and society as a whole.

Tenants should wield power.

Our issues are social and political. Resolving them is a matter of successfully wielding political power.

Currently, the landlord class and its real estate proxies possess far greater political power than tenants. We live under the authority of predatory landlords; they are free to flout the law, hike rent to any amount they like, and disregard housing standards. The only way to make this political reality less unequal is to build tenant counterpower, allowing us to resist landlords' disproportionate influence.

When we talk about tenant power, we are referring to our real-world ability to take action and bring about change. Defending housing rights, obtaining lower rent, stopping evictions, and winning concessions through legislative reforms are a few specific examples.

Solidarity and self-organisation.

Tenants' interests are inherently collective. When we band together to solve common issues, everyone gains; when tenants act alone, nothing changes.

Our capacity for self-organisation and solidarity is what gives us power. We reject the notion that professionals or experts should organise or act on renters' behalf. This misleading belief has been reinforced by the fact that many tenants have experienced disappointment from political campaigns and nonprofit groups that have participated in opportunistic, seasonal, or impotent activities, and that very few have had the opportunity to see firsthand the transformative power of collective action.

A tenant's union must demonstrate and explain collective power by connecting with neighbours and communities, learning about their issues, fostering confidence, cultivating a culture of solidarity, and empowering people to fight together.

Remember this key fact: a union is nothing more than people banding together to change their situation. Our goal is to take charge of our lives and our homes by organising into a union that we control and operate, looking forward to a future in which we are respected as people.

Landlords will do everything in their power to keep us divided and powerless. When we stand together, we keep each other safe.

Power through the union.

We do not anticipate tenants organising spontaneously. Building tenant power necessitates the construction and strengthening of a structure, specifically the fighting organisation known as the tenant union.

The union enables tenants to build their capacities, accumulate strength and experiences, coordinate struggles, and unite around common collective interests. Collective power cannot be built individually; rather, all union members work together to achieve it.

Build deep.

The tenant union is a means of increasing tenant power. It is a tool for gaining immediate victories while improving our long-term position in the fight against landlords. Our approach goes beyond just securing reforms that deal with present-day tenant problems. We also intend to shape the future.

The historical memory of tenant unions has largely faded. To lay a solid foundation for our future fight, the union must strengthen its members' capabilities. To accomplish this, we employ a longer but more effective strategy that emphasises deep organising over superficial activism. Our main objective is to recover our collective power, rather than simply acting as a lobbying organisation.

Struggle directly.

The various bodies established to mediate between landlords and tenants cannot be counted on to provide justice for tenants. These organisations, far from serving as neutral arbiters, serve to reinforce the power of landlords by giving an illusion of justice in what is an inherently unjust relationship. These bodies consistently act in favour of the landlord class. Our rights, where they exist at all, are regularly dismissed. While there may be an occasional case in which tenant rights are upheld, the daily realities of hundreds of thousands of renters show that these rights are largely theoretical and rarely put into practice. Tenant rights in Australia are myths, not facts.

Tenants deserve genuine rights. Rights are never bestowed from above; you need a union that has the ability to enforce them. We seek to make tenant rights a tangible reality, not just empty promises. This is why the union prioritises direct struggle over mediation.This is not to advocate for the complete rejection of mediation in all circumstances; rather, it should be viewed as secondary to the use of collective action. It is important to approach negotiations from a position of strength; for tenants, this strength can only be acquired through our solidarity and unity.

Union independence.

We organise tenants regardless of their political beliefs or affiliation.The union is not associated with any political party or focused on the ballot box.

Electoral methods have proven ineffective in achieving meaningful change and should not be relied on. If tenants are unable to defend and protect themselves, no amount of parliamentary manoeuvring will prevent pro-tenant legislation from being ignored or repealed as soon as possible. Tenants must use their own initiative and power to effect real change for themselves.

To exercise our rights, we require power that is not impacted by political parties and will fight for us regardless of who holds government. While the union will remain independent by refusing to endorse or affiliate with any political party, this does not preclude individual members from participating in electoral activities outside of the union.

Starting small, thinking big.

Our strategy is simple. We think big, but start small, building on achievements that progressively boost renters' confidence in taking bolder moves.

Large-scale systemic changes and mass actions, such as rent strikes, require a strong foundation of solidarity, structure, and prior collective action experience. This is established by engaging in numerous small- to medium-sized struggles to improve renters' immediate circumstances. With each struggle, we grow in size and boldness.

These battles include organising buildings to secure collective demands, pursuing compensation for landlord violations, blocking evictions, and confronting day-to-day issues affecting members, such as neglected maintenance or abuses of legal rights.

By winning achievable and immediate outcomes today, we not only safeguard our members' rights, but also accumulate strength for greater victories in the future.


Join the union

Ready to take charge of your living situation and fight for your rights? Join forces with fellow tenants and actively organise to demand fair treatment and better living conditions. Don't wait for change - create it!

SEQUR operates on principles of direct democracy and participation. If you're a local renter (or currently homeless), you're eligible for full membership. Let us know about your tenancy issues, and we'll provide support. Homeowners can also show solidarity by joining as non-voting members.


South East Queensland Union of Renters organise on the occupied lands of the Kabi Kabi, Yugambeh Jagera, Yugara, Yugarapul, and Turrbal Nations. We pay our respects to elders past and present.
Sovereignty was never ceded.
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