You are here: Home  How to Apply  Appeal a Decision  Client Service Delivery and Appeals Policy  

Client Service Delivery and Appeals Policy

Policy Last Amended: 14 May 2015

 

1. Background

As an agency of the New South Wales Government, the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) has a duty to:

  • Implement the policies of the NSW Government efficiently and effectively, and
  • Obtain good value for money and make the best use of public resources and property, and
  • Comply with all proper instructions and directions and act in accordance with the spirit and the requirements of the law, and
  • Maintain clear and sufficient documents to support decisions, and
  • Not allow any official information to be misused, and
  • Provide accurate, timely, honest and balanced advice as well as seeking to resolve ethical dilemmas.

The intent of this policy is to explain:

  • The standards of behaviour and service expected of FACS staff and its clients.
  • How a client can provide feedback about the services they make, including how to make a complaint.
  • How a client can appeal a FACS decision.
  • How FACS handles client feedback, complaints and appeals.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all clients of FACS, including applicants for housing assistance seeking services from FACS, and people living in tenancies managed by FACS, including tenants of the Aboriginal Housing Office.

 

3. Policy statement

All staff of FACS, including consultants and contractors, have a duty to abide by the Code of Ethical Conduct, no matter what position they hold. Where conduct falls short of FACS standards, it will be corrected. In return, FACS expects that its clients will treat its staff with courtesy. The standards of behaviour expected of FACS staff and its clients are outlined in the Service Standards section of this policy.

 

FACS respects the right of its clients to complain, or provide compliments or suggestions about the service they receive. Feedback from clients allows FACS to monitor its performance and effectiveness and make changes or improvements where necessary.

 

For information about FACS’s client feedback system, including how to provide feedback or make a complaint, see the Feedback and Complaints section of this policy.

 

If a tenant or applicant disagrees with a decision of FACS they can request an appeal of that decision. For information about the appeal process, including how to request an appeal see the Appeals section of this policy.

Service Standards

Providing information about FACS services

Information about FACS services is freely available to all. For information about services, clients can:

  • Contact FACS on 1300 HOUSING (1300 468 746), or
  • Contact their local FACS office, or
  • Access the FACS website www.housing.nsw.gov.au to view policies, fact sheets and other publications.

FACS also provides a range of qualified language services to ensure that all clients across the State have equal access to housing services and information. FACS provides these services at no cost to the client.

 

The types of services available to clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) include:

  • Telephone Interpreting Service provided by All Graduates Interpreting & Translating
  • On site interpreters managed by the Block Booking Interpreter Service (BBIS) and provided by All Graduates Interpreting & Translating
  • Sign language (AUSLAN) interpreters provided by All Graduates Interpreting & Translating
  • Telephone National Relay Service (NRS) for the hearing and speech impaired
  • Accredited bilingual staff to assist with brief client enquiries
  • Translation of client supporting documentation
  • Publications about FACS services translated into major community languages.

The way FACS treats its clients

In dealing with clients, FACS employees are required to:

  • Ensure services are fair, accessible to all clients and appropriate to their needs, and
  • Act with courtesy, promptness, efficiency and impartiality, and
  • Give information and advice honestly, clearly and simply, and
  • Ensure that clients receive their full entitlements, and
  • Maintain confidentiality and privacy of information, and
  • Offer the best service possible in light of available resources, and
  • Respect individual differences, and
  • Provide referrals to support services, if required.

FACS aims to:

  • Make fair decisions that are open to scrutiny, and
  • Provide clear and accurate advice about decisions, and
  • Provide information about the reason for decisions, and
  • Advise clients of decisions within a reasonable timeframe.

Top of page

The way FACS expects its staff to be treated

FACS expects clients to treat employees with courtesy. FACS has a responsibility to work supportively with clients who are facing difficulties and who may be experiencing stress. However, FACS does not view abuse, threats, intimidation or harassment of its employees by clients as part of the job. This type of difficult client behaviour will not be condoned or tolerated.

 

Difficult client behaviour encompasses a range of things from less harmful behaviour, such as agitation and vulgarity, to serious aggression and violence. Staff are required to manage this range of behaviour. Firm and fair communication and action is required for less harmful behaviour. Restriction or suspension of housing services, or action under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, may be imposed for serious client behaviour.

 

FACS will record all incidents of serious and inappropriate behaviour on the client’s file. This may include things such as:

  • Observations of serious and inappropriate client behaviour
  • Staff reports of serious and inappropriate client behaviour
  • Witness statements
  • Police reports

Where the client has demonstrated that they have modified their behaviour, FACS will update their file.

 

Following serious and inappropriate incidents, FACS will advise clients in writing that it will not tolerate such behaviour. FACS will also advise the client of the consequences of repeated or persistent aggression.

 

If a client continues to be threatening or abusive, FACS will ask the client to attend an office interview with a more senior member of FACS staff so that the client can give a reassurance that they will modify their behaviour. FACS may suggest that the client bring an advocate to the interview. The advocate may assist the client to discuss the situation in a way that avoids a recurrence of the aggressive behaviour. In cases of persistent aggression, the client may be advised that they will be dealt with only by phone until they can demonstrate that they have modified their behaviour.

 

In cases of more serious and inappropriate behaviour by a tenant towards a staff member, for example, physical violence or intimidation, FACS may ask the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order of immediate possession under Section 90 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

 

FACS, or a community housing provider participating in the common access system, may make an applicants or members of their household ineligible for social housing, or other housing related services such as Rentstart, if at any time they:

  • Seriously threaten or abuse social housing staff (including staff of FACS or community housing providers), or
  • Intentionally engage in conduct that objectively causes social housing staff to feel intimidated or harassed.

Social housing staff will warn an individual that they are not bound to consider the client’s application should the behaviour continue. The housing provider must be satisfied that the behaviour will not be repeated before making any decision about the client’s eligibility.

Top of page

Housing Pathways – feedback and appeals

All clients of FACS have access to its client feedback and appeals systems.

In relation to housing assistance delivered through Housing Pathways, FACS is responsible for managing feedback and appeals relating to service delivery and decision making by officers of FACS. This includes all decisions relating to the provision of private rental assistance.

 

Community housing providers participating in Housing Pathways are responsible for managing feedback and appeals of decisions made by their organisation regarding eligibility for housing assistance, priority housing and offers of accommodation.

 

Community housing providers do not review decisions about private rental assistance. Community housing providers facilitate access to private rental products, but delivery and any associated complaints or appeals are the responsibility FACS.

 

For further information on the approach to client feedback and appeals in community housing, go to Community Housing Complaints, Issues and Appeals Management Framework .

Feedback and complaints

All clients and members of the public have the right to offer feedback about the services that FACS provides, either because they:

  • are dissatisfied with the quality of service, or
  • believe that a policy is wrong, unjust, unlawful, discriminatory or unfair, or
  • have positive feedback to provide about the service.

Feedback is encouraged and is valued, because it helps to improve FACS policies, systems and service delivery. For more information on the types of feedback that FACS would like to receive, please see the Client Feedback Service Fact Sheet.

 

Feedback can be in the form of a complaint, suggestion, or compliment and can be provided in person, in writing, by email, online or over the telephone. For more information see the Client Feedback Service section of the Contact Us Overview.

 

For reports of fraud or corruption by staff or clients please see the Reporting Fraud or corruption section of the Contact Us Overview.

 

Feedback will be dealt with in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner and a client’s privacy will be respected. FACS provides free, confidential and qualified language services to clients who need the assistance of an interpreter and language services to provide feedback.

 

Feedback can also be lodged on a client’s behalf by a third party such as a family member, support provider or an advocate. The client’s consent is required before FACS can provide information about the client to a third party.

 

Clients may also choose to provide feedback through another source, for example:

  • their local Member of Parliament
  • the Minister for Family and Community Services.

If a client or a member of the public is dissatisfied with the way services are delivered this will be managed as a complaint if the matter is not resolved straight away.

 

Feedback about neighbourhood concerns such as reports of nuisance and annoyance, property care issues, unauthorised alterations or illegal activity are also welcome, but will not be managed as a complaint in the first instance. The matter will be managed according to the relevant policy.

 

Feedback will be acknowledged by FACS but in most cases a detailed outcome cannot be provided, either because there are ongoing legal proceedings or to protect the privacy of other parties. For more information see the Privacy and Information Sharing Policy.

 

If a client believes that FACS has failed to respond appropriately to this feedback, this will then be managed as a complaint.

Complaints Management

Complaints will be acknowledged, reviewed and an outcome provided in general, within 15 working days. However, any complaint that is made about a privacy issue will be completed within 60 days. Clients will be advised if there are any delays in reviewing the complaint and will be provided with an outcome in writing.

 

Complaints will be directed to the section of FACS that is responsible for responding to the issue. If the complaint is about a member of staff, it will be reviewed by a more senior officer than the person being complained about and the matter will be discussed with the member of staff who is the subject of the complaint. If a client is concerned about their confidentiality or privacy, they may lodge a complaint anonymously.

 

FACS will not treat people differently because they have made a complaint.

 

If a client is unhappy with the outcome of their complaint or the way their complaint has been handled, they should first discuss it with their local office. They can also discuss it with the NSW Ombudsman, the Tenancy Advocacy Service or Community Justice Centre. If the complaint is about a privacy issue, the client can discuss it with the Information and Privacy Commission NSW.

Unreasonable Conduct by a Complainant

Unreasonable conduct is any behaviour by a current or former complainant which, because of its nature or frequency raises substantial health, safety, resource or equity concerns for either party to the complaint.

 

Examples of conduct that can be characterised as unreasonable include:

  • persistent phone calls, visits, letters, emails whilst the complaint is being reviewed or after the outcome of the complaint has been explained
  • repeated demands for services that cannot be provided, assistance from certain staff members or priority treatment
  • consistent unwillingness to cooperate with staff to manage the complaint, this may include providing insufficient, unclear or misguiding information
  • constantly making arguments that are not supported by evidence.

If this conduct continues after the client has been asked to stop, it will then be considered unreasonable. If there is abusive, threatening or intimidating behaviour from a client, please see The way FACS expects its staff to be treated.

 

If unreasonable conduct by a complainant is identified, FACS will consider limiting or changing the way that it responds to a complainant by applying a formal restriction for a period of either three, six or twelve months.

 

FACS may limit contact to a designated staff member, only allow contact in specific secured locations or through a particular method such as in writing. Contact may also be restricted to a particular subject matter, to a particular time, length of time or frequency. For example, a complainant may only be able to lodge or request information about a complaint once a week in writing and addressed to the Team Leader. Any contact received outside of the restriction will not be responded to. In some cases FACS may consider restricting all contact with a client about their complaint.

 

At the end of a restriction period, FACS will review the complainant’s conduct during that period and consider extending, revising or lifting the restriction.

 

Clients will be advised of the nature and length of the restriction, any breaches of the restriction and the outcome of the review in writing.

Appeals

A tenant or applicant can appeal a FACS decision, if they believe that:

  • Inadequate consideration was given to their individual circumstances, or
  • The decision was made contrary to FACS policy, or
  • The decision involved a poor interpretation of policy, or
  • The procedure used to reach the decision was not fair and correct.

The objective of the appeals process is to ensure that:

  • There is a fair mechanism for decisions to be reviewed if those decisions cannot be considered by other bodies, such as the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and
  • The correct decision has been made in each individual case under appeal.

The appeal process starts when a client believes that a decision made by FACS is not correct and they have not been able to resolve the issue through discussion with the office which made the decision. The aim of the appeal process is to confirm whether FACS has made the right decision. FACS will advise clients of their appeal rights when communicating its decisions.

 

For more information on which decisions can be appealed go to FACS decisions that can be appealed.


There are two levels of appeal:

  • First tier – internal review by FACS, and
  • Second tier – independent review by the Housing Appeals Committee.

First tier appeal – internal review by FACS

FACS general approach to first tier appeals is:

  • A client requests a first tier appeal by completing a Review of Decisions (First Tier Appeal) Application - FACS. In most cases the clients must lodge the application within three months of the original decision being made however timeframes for some appeals are shorter. Go to Timeframe to lodge an appeal for more information.
  • The review of the decision is conducted by a FACS officer who was not involved in making the original decision;
  • The recommendations of that officer are then be considered by a more senior member of staff, who will make the actual decision on the first tier appeal.
  • If it appears that the outcome of the first tier appeal will not be in the client’s favour, FACS will offer a phone or face to face interview before the review is completed. This gives the client an opportunity to explain the reasons they think the decision should be changed, to understand FACS decision making process and to provide any relevant, further information.
  • Generally, first tier appeals are decided within 20 working days from the date FACS receives a client’s application for review. For more information go to Timeframe for consideration of appeals.

When reviewing the original decision, the officer will consider matters such as:

  • Was the original decision consistent with FACS policy?
  • Was the policy narrowly or harshly interpreted?
  • Do the client’s circumstances indicate that the decision was inappropriate?
  • Were the client’s circumstances and all relevant information fairly and properly considered?
  • Was there any bias or prejudice involved on the part of the original decision maker?
  • Did any irrelevant information affect the decision?
  • Whether the original decision was made within the applicable legal framework.
  • Whether any new, relevant information is available.

In reviewing a decision, FACS relies on the following:

  • Information provided by the client or their support services at the time of the original decision, for example, any medical reports.
  • Any relevant additional information supplied after the original decision was made, for example, relevant additional expenses and information provided at interview during the review process.
  • Information obtained from discussions or an interview with the client or any of their support workers.
  • Information held by FACS in its application or tenancy management records.
  • Any other relevant information.

FACS will inform the client of the appeal decision in writing. The outcome of the appeal will be any of the following:

  • The original decision is reversed and a new decision is substituted in its place.
  • The original decision is maintained.
  • The original decision is changed in part.
  • The appeal is withdrawn by the client.
  • An alternative solution is found.

If a client’s first tier appeal is unsuccessful, that is, the original decision is maintained, FACS will also advise a client of their right to appeal to the Housing Appeals Committee.

Accelerated Appeals

FACS generally applies the same approach to first tier appeals regardless of the decision that is under review. The exception to this general approach are the following decisions which undergo an accelerated first and second tier appeal process:

  • decisions relating to Section 149 and 145 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.
  • decisions relating to a Change of Circumstances after a lease review.
  • decisions relating to ending Private Rental Subsidy assistance.
  • decisions relating to Recognition as a Tenant.

All first and second tier appeals relating to these decisions are conducted using the accelerated appeal process. A client can request an accelerated appeal by completing the relevant section of the Review of Decisions (First Tier Appeal) Application - FACS which includes a consent for referral of the appeal to the Housing Appeals Committee. For convenience, some other FACS forms also include a section for requesting an accelerated appeal. Go to Timeframe to lodge an appeal below for more information about how to request an accelerated appeal and the timeframes.

 

With an accelerated appeal, if the outcome of the first tier appeal is in the client’s favour, FACS will advise the client in writing of the decision.

 

If the outcome of the first tier appeal is not in the client’s favour, FACS will refer the client’s file directly to the Housing Appeals Committee as a second tier appeal. FACS will advise the client in writing of the final outcome after the second tier independent review by the Housing Appeals Committee is completed.

Accelerated appeals under Section 145 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010

Appeals under Section 145 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 relate to FACS decision that a tenant is no longer eligible to continue living in a property managed by FACS. For more information, see the Types and Length of Lease Policy.

 

In an appeal conducted under Section 145 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, the assessing officer will consider:

  • Any representations made by the tenant, and
  • The particulars of the reasons provided by the original decision maker in accordance with Section 145(2) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

FACS will interview the client in all appeals relating to Section 145 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

 

The outcome of the review may be any of the following:

  • A Notice of Termination should be issued.
  • A Notice of Termination should not be issued.
  • A lease extension should be granted.

Accelerated appeals under Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010

Appeals under Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 relate to FACS decision to issue a Notice of Intent to Issue a Notice of Termination when it has offered alternative social housing to a tenant and the tenant has refused all reasonable offers of accommodation. For more information, see the Changing a Tenancy Policy.


The appeal will be conducted by a staff member in a management position.

 

When reviewing decisions about the issue of a Notice of Intent to issue a Notice of Termination under the section 149 Ministerial Guidelines and Procedures, the manager will consider:

  • Any representations made by the tenant, and
  • The particulars of the reasons provided by the original decision maker in accordance with Section 149(3) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, and
  • The approved Ministerial Guidelines and Procedures relating to Section 149.

The outcome of the review may be any of the following:

  • Further offers of accommodation should be made, and the number of offers.
  • A Notice of Termination should be issued.
  • A Notice of Termination should not be issued.

Accelerated appeals relating to a Change of Circumstances after lease review

Where a tenant remains ineligible to continue living in a property managed by FACS after a change in their household circumstances has been considered, the tenant may request a review of this decision.

 

The outcome of the review may be any of the following:

  • A Notice of Termination should be issued.
  • A Notice of Termination should not be issued.
  • A lease extension should be granted.

Accelerated appeals relating to withdrawal of Private Rental Subsidy assistance

FACS may make a decision to end Private Rental Subsidy assistance either because it has conducted a review of the client’s eligibility for Private Rental Subsidy and found that the client is no longer eligible for assistance; or because the client has refused a reasonable offer of social housing and is no longer eligible to receive Private Rental Subsidy assistance.

 

In the situation where the decision to withdraw Private Rental Subsidy assistance has been triggered by the client’s refusal of a reasonable offer of social housing, if the offer of social housing was made by FACS, FACS will hold the property vacant until the accelerated appeal process is finalised.

 

If the offer of social housing is made by a community housing provider participating in Housing Pathways, the community housing provider will advise the client if it will hold the property while FACS conducts the appeal, and the length of time it will hold it.

 

If the client has not already provided consent for an accelerated appeal to occur, they will have 7 days to provide written consent. For more information, go to Timeframe to lodge an appeal. If the client does not provide written consent FACS will not conduct an accelerated appeal process and the property will be reallocated. No other appeal to FACS or the Housing Appeals Committee will be available.

Appeals relating to the cancellation of the rent subsidy

FACS may make a decision to cancel a tenant’s rent subsidy either because it has conducted a review of the tenant’s eligibility for a rent subsidy and found the tenant is no longer eligible; or because the tenant has not responded to a rent subsidy review request.

 

A time limit of 21 days from advice of decision applies where a tenant wishes to appeal against a decision to cancel their rent subsidy. If the tenant does not lodge an appeal within that period, no other appeal to FACS or the Housing Appeals Committee will be available.

 

Appeals relating to Millers Point Relocations

Under the Millers Point relocations project, the tenant may appeal the reasonableness of relocations offers to the Housing Appeals Committee where such offers are made outside the My Property Choice process.

 

In the situation where the tenant refusal is for the second reasonable offer of social housing, if the offer of social housing was made by FACS, FACS will hold the property vacant until the appeal process is finalised.

 

The tenant has 7 days to appeal an offer of accommodation of social housing. For more information, go to Timeframe to lodge an appeal. If the client does not appeal no other appeal to FACS or the Housing Appeals Committee will be available.

Accelerated appeals relating to Recognition as a Tenant

FACS may make a decision not to grant a provisional lease or recognition as a tenant following an assessment of a client’s eligibility under the Changing a Tenancy Policy.

 

If the client has not already provided consent for an accelerated appeal to occur, they will have 7 days to provide written consent. If the client does not provide written consent FACS will not conduct an accelerated appeal process. No other appeal to FACS or the Housing Appeals Committee will be available.

Second tier appeals – independent review by the Housing Appeals Committee

If a client believes the decision made by FACS in the first tier appeal is incorrect, they can ask the Housing Appeals Committee to review the decision.

 

The Housing Appeals Committee is an independent agency that can review decisions of FACS and community housing providers. The Committee is informal and there is no charge to clients for their service. Information on the Housing Appeals Committee can be found at www.hac.nsw.gov.au.

 

Generally, the Housing Appeals Committee will not review a FACS decision until after the first tier internal review of the decision has been completed.

 

However, there are situations where FACS will refer a client’s file directly to the Housing Appeals Committee for a second tier independent review. The client’s consent must be given prior to the transfer of the file. For more information see Accelerated Appeals.

 

Except in the cases outlined above, clients wishing to appeal to the Committee will need to sign the Housing Appeals Committee Appeal Application form so that FACS can provide the client’s file to the Committee. FACS will not be present at the appeal hearing.

 

After its hearing, the Housing Appeals Committee will make a recommendation to FACS that:

  • The original decision be maintained, or
  • The original decision be changed in full, or
  • The original decision be changed in part.

After the Committee communicates their recommendation to FACS, the Committee will advise the client of their recommendation.

 

The final decision remains with FACS. However, FACS gives careful consideration to all of the recommendations made by the Housing Appeals Committee.


If the Committee recommends that FACS change a decision, in full or in part, FACS will consider the recommendation and provide a response to the Committee, generally within 6 weeks. In cases relating to appeals under the Section 149 Ministerial Guidelines, if FACS decides, after careful consideration, not to accept the Committee’s recommendation, the matter will be referred to a senior manager of FACS for the final decision .


FACS will advise the client in writing of the outcome of their second tier appeal.

FACS decisions that can be appealed

Many decisions made by FACS can be appealed. These decisions are set out below:

  • Eligibility for Rentstart assistance, including Temporary Accommodation, Tenancy Assistance, Rentstart Move, Advance Rent and Rentstart Bond Loan. For more information about Rentstart Bond Loans, go to Rentstart Bond Loan decisions that are appealable.
  • Eligibility for social housing. 
  • Eligibility for emergency temporary accommodation.
  • Eligibility for a statement of satisfactory tenancy.
  • Removal from the social housing register.
  • Priority housing assistance.
  • The location offered when housing assistance is being provided to an applicant on the NSW Housing Register.
  • The classification of a rejected offer by an applicant on the NSW Housing Register as 'reasonable’.
  • The reasonableness of offers made and the assessment of bedroom entitlements when a Vacant Bedroom Charge is applied.
  • Eligibility assessments when FACS considers a request for a swimming pool.
  • The type and length of lease offered when an offer of a property is made.
  • Calculation of rent subsidies.
  • Cancellation of rent subsidies.
  • Incorrect calculation of percentage water usage charges.
  • Requests for property modifications or improvements.
  • Requests to purchase FACS property.
  • Requests for absence from dwelling.
  • Requests to house an additional occupant.
  • Eligibility to remain in public housing through recognition as a tenant or succession.
  • Transfers.
  • Mutual exchange.
  • Notice under Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 that FACS intends to issue a Notice of Termination where a tenant has been offered alternative social housing premises.
  • Notice under Section 145 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 that a tenant is no longer eligible to reside in public housing.
  • Eligibility for an extension of a lease as a result of a change of circumstances following a lease review.
  • Confirmation of Aboriginality

Rentstart Bond Loan decisions that can be appealed

  • The amount of assistance provided under Rentstart Bond Loan. For example, the amount of bond assistance and/or Advance Rent provided.
  • Decision to decline a client applying for their third Bond Loan.
  • Decision to suspend a client’s access to further Rentstart assistance.
  • Decision to decline an application when a client reapplies and they are suspended from further assistance.
  • Decision to decline a payment variation request.
  • Decision to decline a payment deferral request.

Private Rental Subsidy decisions that can be appealed

  • Eligibility for the Private Rental Subsidy. 
  • Ending a Private Rental Subsidy assistance when a client refuses a reasonable offer of social housing.
  • Ending a Private Rental Subsidy assistance after a review.

FACS decisions that cannot be appealed

Some decisions made by FACS cannot be appealed. These decisions are set out below:

  • Matters that the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) can resolve. For example, if FACS does not meet its obligations to carry out repairs and maintenance to a client’s property, , the calculation of actual water charges, if a client’s request for an alteration to their property is declined and termination of a tenancy by FACS.
  • Decisions that are not directly related to the person or household. For example, the allocation of housing to another person.
  • FACS policies, rather than the application of policy to a client’s circumstances.
  • Matters for which clients cannot make an application to FACS. For example, general upgrades of housing.
  • The amount of assistance provided under Private Rental Subsidy assistance.
  • Decisions in relation to the length of lease offered after a Section 142 notice has been issued to an existing tenant.
  • Reports made to Community Services under the Children and Young Person Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.
  • The decision to apply a Vacant Bedroom Charge.
  • Decisions made during the My Property Choice process for tenants relocating from Millers Point.

For more information on which decisions can be appealed by tenants who are transferring or being relocated due to under-occupancy, see FACS decisions that can be appealed.

Timeframe to lodge an appeal

In most cases, clients must lodge an appeal within three months of the original decision being made. However, there are shorter timeframes to lodge an appeal in a number of situations, as detailed below.

 


Appeal issue

Timeframe to appeal

Ending Private Rental Subsidy assistance following an individual or scheduled review.
This applies when FACS conducts:

  • a periodic review of the client’s eligibility, or
  • a review after a client advises a change in circumstances

A client can provide consent for an accelerated appeal at the time of the review by completing the consent section of the Private Rental Subsidy Review & Change of Circumstances form.

 

Otherwise an appeal must be requested within 7 days of being notified of the decision to end the Private Rental Subsidy assistance by completing the Review of Decisions (First Tier Appeal) Application- FACS.

Ending Private Rental Subsidy assistance due to a refusal of a reasonable offer
This includes a review of whether:

  • the offer was a reasonable rejection, and
  • the subsidy should be reinstated

Within 7 days of rejecting the offer, by completing the Review of Decisions (First Tier Appeal) Application - FACS.

Recognition as a Tenant

This applies when a client:

  • is not granted provisional lease, and as a result is ineligible for Recognition as a Tenant, or
  • is declined for Recognition as a Tenant

A client can provide consent for an accelerated appeal at the time of applying for Recognition as a Tenant by completing the consent in the Recognition as a Tenant Supplement.

 

Otherwise an appeal must be requested within 7 days of being notified of the decision by completing the Review of Decisions (First Tier Appeal) Application -FACS.

The reasonableness of relocation offers made under the Millers Point Relocations project where such offers are made outside the My Property Choice process. Within 7 days of rejecting the offer, by completing the Housing Appeals Committee Appeal Application Form.

Offer of alternative social housing property:

Under Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, a client can request a review of FACS decision to notify the client that it intends to terminate their tenancy because an offer of an alternative social housing property has been made and the client has not accepted that offer.

Within 14 days after the client is sent a Notice of Intent to Issue a Notice of Termination.

 

The client must complete the Application for Review of Decision - Section 149 Residential Tenancies Act form.

Type and length of lease offered when a client enters public housing:

This applies when a client disagrees with the type or length of a tenancy offered.

Within 30 days of:

  • Notice of the offer, or
  • Sign up, or
  • Notice following the review of additional information

Type and length of lease offered after a lease extension is granted:
This applies when a client disagrees with the length of a tenancy offered.

 

If the client is on a 2, 5 or 10 year lease, within 30 days after notification of the length of the new lease.

 

If the client is on a three or six month fixed term lease, within 7 days after notification of the length of the new lease.

Eligibility to continue living in public housing under Section 145 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010:

A client can request a review of FACS decision that they are no longer eligible to continue living in public housing.

If the client is on a 2, 5 or 10 year lease, within 30 days of the notification of the decision.

 

The client must complete the Application for Review of Decision - Section 145 Residential Tenancies Act form.

Change of circumstances following a lease review:

This applies when a client disagrees with a decision not to offer an extension of the lease based on a change of circumstances following a lease review.

If the client is on a 2, 5 or 10 year lease, within 14 days of the notification of the decision.

 

The client must complete the Application for Review of Decision - Change of Circumstances After Lease Review form.

Ending a Tenants Rental Subsidy Within 21 days after the tenant is sent a notice advising the rent subsidy has been cancelled, by completing the Review of Decisions (First Tier Appeal) Application.

All other appealable matters

Within three months of the original decision, by completing the Review of Decisions (First Tier Appeal) Application.

 

In some circumstances this timeframe may be extended, for example, where the client would be significantly disadvantaged if they could not lodge their appeal.

 

Timeframe for consideration of appeals

FACS usually makes a decision on a first tier internal review within 20 calendar days of receiving a client’s application form. Priority is given to appeals of certain decisions as outlined below.

 

If an appeal is not resolved within the relevant timeframe, FACS will write to the client and advise them of the reasons for the delay and the expected timeframe for completion.


Appeal issue

Timeframe for consideration

Urgent situations regarding rental assistance

Within 48 hours

Urgent situations regarding eligibility for tenancy statements

Within 48 hours

Decisions to cancel the rent subsidy Within 5 calendar days

Decisions to terminate tenancies under Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, where alternative public housing has been offered

Within 19 calendar days

 

Note: FACS has 7 calendar days to complete the initial review. The remainder of the time is applicable where the file is transferred to the Housing Appeals Committee for review.

Eligibility for Private Rental Subsidy assistance

Within 17 calendar days for an eligibility review

 

Note: FACS has 2 calendar days to complete the initial review.

 

Within 24 calendar days if an offer is rejected
Note: FACS has 9 calendar days to complete the initial review.

Eligibility for Recognition as a Tenant

 

This applies when a client:

  • is not granted a provisional lease, and as a result is ineligible for Recognition as a Tenant, or
  • is declined for Recognition as a Tenant

Within 33 days

 

Note: FACS has 14 calendar days to complete the initial review (includes 7 days for the client to provide additional information or consent for an accelerated appeal).

 

Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) has:

  • 14 calendar days to complete the review for provisional lease not granted.
  • 21 calendar days to complete the review for declined recognition as a tenant.

Upon receipt of HAC recommendation, FACS has 1 calendar day to make final decision.

Eligibility decisions under Section 145 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010

Within 55 calendar days

 

Note: FACS has 20 calendar days to complete the initial review.

Eligibility decisions relating to a change of circumstances following a lease review

Priority will be given to this type of appeal

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal action that is underway in respect of the client making the appeal

Priority will be given to this type of appeal

 

4. Legislation and compliance

  • Residential Tenancies Act 2010
  • Housing Act 2001
  • FACS Code of Ethical Conduct
  • There is no specific legislative structure for FACS appeals or client feedback processes. However, FACS must always act in a lawful way, including when making decisions on client entitlements. FACS operates within the following frameworks:

     

    5. Further information

    If a client is unhappy with a review of a privacy complaint, the client may be entitled to refer the matter to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. If the client feels the issue has not been satisfactorily resolved, they may contact the NSW Ombudsman.

    Top of page


    Last modified: Wednesday, 27 May 2015

    Housing Pathways © 2015
    Date last modified: Wednesday, 27 May 2015