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Practice Spotlight: Housing and tenancy law

Practice Spotlight: Housing and tenancy law

By Braedon Waddell

Workplace Young Lawyers 


The practice area is a focal point of community legal centres as they aim to provide culturally appropriate legal information, community education and advocacy.

A tenancy lawyer may provide a range of services, including information and referral to other services surrounding various matters including rental arrears, tenancy agreements, bonds, possession orders, and repair and maintenance issues. These lawyers serve a pivotal role in the community as the nature of their work involves advocating for the vulnerable.

In practice with Lokesh Kashyap, lawyer at Moonee Valley Legal Service (“MVLS”), working on a public housing Tenancy Project in partnership with Gadens

How did you come into this role?

In 2018, after practising law for three years at various community legal centres and Indigenous legal services across Australia, I decided to take a break from practising law. I planned to return to legal practice after graduating with another degree (Bachelor of Design) in 2020.

Searching online, I saw the job listed on and felt like it was the right fit in terms of my previous experience. I applied without hesitation, after learning about the opportunity to support others given the pro-bono work that MVLS has been doing over the years.

What does a standard day in your role look like?

Typically, my day starts with checking my calendar and ensuring I am adequately prepared for the day, be it advisory or outreach sessions, or any follow-up casework I need to do. My days are split between delivering community legal education with the Tenancy Project clinic and other generalist matters in the community legal sector.

My day-to-day tasks may involve facilitating client interviews, answering client enquiries, letter writing, preparing court documents, attending court, researching and undertaking administrative tasks.

Do you have any advice for law students or young lawyers wanting to get into this area?

For anyone who wishes to practice tenancy law, you have to know the needs and demands of your client demographic, this includes knowing the legal language and accessibility needs. In addition, make sure you understand any protocols concerning providing legal services in a culturally appropriate manner.

Lastly, seek mentorship with people who have been working in the area for some time. Most experienced legal professionals would not mind assisting you as a mentor, however, you must respect their time and expertise. If you are going to ask a question, make sure you have done thorough research to look for possible solutions.

Tip of the month:

We need to look after ourselves, as well. Take time for yourself and seek professional help if you need to. We would not be able to provide appropriate and high-quality services if our minds and bodies are struggling. So be mindful of your mental, physical and emotional health.

Braedon Waddell is a law student at Deakin University currently undertaking an internship at Moonee Valley Legal Centre and is a member of the LIV Young Lawyers Editorial Committee.


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