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Tenancy Policy Supplement

Policy Last Amended: 4 July 2014

 

This document provides additional information to support the following policies of the Department of Family and Community Services – Housing NSW:

  • During a Tenancy
  • Changing a Tenancy
  • Ending a Tenancy
  • Index

    During a tenancy – Looking after your home

    1. Situations in which maintenance will be carried out more quickly

    During a tenancy – Use of the premises and the right to quiet enjoyment

    1. Running a business from the property
    2. Companion animals
    3. Restricted dogs
    4. Dangerous dogs
    5. Complying with the Companion Animals Act
    6. Determining if the property is suitable for a certain type of animal
    7. When a vehicle is treated as abandoned or is causing a nuisance
    8. When a vehicle may cause a breach of the tenancy agreement
    9. Approving additional occupants
    10. Applying visitor sanctions to individual tenancies
    11. Applying visitor sanctions to a group of tenancies within a complex, precinct or area

    During a tenancy – Being away from the property

    1. Approving an absence from the property
    2. Acceptable absences
    3. Tenants going to prison
    4. Tenants going into a nursing home


    During a tenancy – Contact with tenants and access to the property

    1. Client Service Visits
    2. New tenancies
    3. What tenants can expect of Housing NSW staff when arranging and conducting client service visits

    During a tenancy – Lease reviews

    1. Evidence requirements to determine length of lease
    2. Income limits at lease review
    3. Evidence requirements for an exemption
    4. Evidence requirements for a change of circumstances after lease review
    5. Previous lease review income limits

    Changing a tenancy – Relocating tenants for management purposes

    1. Relocations for portfolio management purposes
    2. Relocations for tenancy management purposes
    3. Relocation of younger tenants from Senior Communities properties
    4. The relocation process
    5. Restriction and approval of rehousing location
    6. Assistance with the relocation process
    7. Relocation offers
    8. Decision to apply a Vacant Bedroom Charge to the tenant’s rent subsidy
    9. Decision to give the tenant notice that Housing NSW intends to issue a Notice of Termination
    10. Eligible to request to return to a property after redevelopment
    11. Approval to return to a property after redevelopment

    Changing a tenancy – Mutual exchange

    1. Criteria for approving a mutual exchange

    Changing a tenancy – Recognition as a tenant

    1. Exceptions to minimum period of occupation
    2. Evidence requirements for a de facto partner
    3. Evidence requirements for a live-in carer
    4. Recognition as a tenant for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander clients who are not current household members

    Changing a tenancy – Type and length of lease

    1. Type and length of lease after a transfer or mutual exchange
    2. Type and length of lease after relocating for management purposes
    3. Type and length of lease after tenancy reinstatement approval
    4. Type and length of lease after recognition as a tenant

    Ending a tenancy – Categorising a tenancy

    1. Eligible for a statement of satisfactory tenancy
    2. Satisfactory former tenants
    3. Less than satisfactory former tenants
    4. Unsatisfactory former tenants
    5. Former tenants who are ineligible for public housing

    During a tenancy – Looking after your home

    1. Situations in which maintenance will be carried out more quickly

    Maintenance will be carried out more quickly when:

    • There is an immediate threat of danger due to health, safety or security risks.
    • There is a threat to the safety or security of the tenant.
    • Essential items are not working.
    • Housing NSW determines that general repairs cannot wait for the planned works program.

    During a tenancy – Use of the premises and the right to quiet enjoyment

    1. Running a business from the premises

    Housing NSW will only give approval to operate a business if it is satisfied that both the business and the tenant:

    • Will comply with any relevant laws and local government regulations that apply to operating a business from a residential property, including, where relevant, seeking any necessary approval from the local council prior to starting the business, and
    • Will not increase wear and tear over and above the level that would be normal for a home, or increase utilities (such as non-metered water in flats) that increase Housing NSW’s costs, and
    • Will not make any alterations or additions to the property without seeking written approval from Housing NSW, and
    • Will meet their obligations under the Tenancy Agreement, in particular, where the tenant agrees ‘not to cause or permit a nuisance, and not to interfere or cause or permit any interference with the reasonable peace, privacy or comfort of any neighbour’, and
    • Has a current public liability insurance policy appropriate to the type of business, and
    • Will not expose Housing NSW to excessive risk, and
    • Will comply with other relevant Housing NSW policies.

    Evidence criteria include:

    • A document outlining the approval of the local council or any other relevant authorities, and
    • A public liability insurance policy certificate.

    2. Companion animals

    Companion animals include:

    • Cats.
    • Dogs (including dogs such as working dogs and trained assistance animals such as Seeing Eye or hearing dogs).
    • Any animal that is prescribed by the regulations.

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    3. Restricted dogs

    Restricted dogs include:

    • Pit bull terriers.
    • American pit bull terriers.
    • Japanese tosas.
    • Argentinean fighting dogs (filo Brasileiro).
    • Other dogs such as guard dogs used by security personnel.

    4. Dangerous dogs

    Dangerous dogs are dogs that have been declared dangerous by a local council or local court. These include dogs that attack without provocation, or kill a person or animal, or repeatedly threaten to attack or chase a person or animal.

    5. Complying with the Companion Animals Act

    To comply with the Companion Animals Act, a person must:

    • Ensure that the animal does not harm or threaten any other person or animal.
    • Ensure dogs are contained on the property and not allowed to roam.
    • Ensure dogs and cats do not cause a nuisance by persistently making a noise, straying or interfering with other people’s property.
    • Ensure dogs and cats are micro chipped and registered if they are born or change owners after 1 July 1999.

    6. Determining if the property is suitable for a certain type of animal

    When determining if a property is suitable for a certain type of animal, Housing NSW will consider:

    • The amount of open space available on the property, and
    • Requirements of the local council, and
    • The size and type of animal and its suitability to the property, and
    • The likelihood of damage to the property, and
    • The likelihood of interference with neighbours, even if the neighbours have not yet made a complaint.

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    7. When a vehicle is treated as abandoned or is causing a nuisance

    Housing NSW will treat a vehicle as abandoned if:

    • It is causing a health or safety hazard, or
    • It is left by a current or former tenant, or
    • The owner of the car cannot be found after Housing NSW has made every reasonable effort to establish the owner’s identity and whereabouts.

    8. When a vehicle may cause a breach of the tenancy agreement

    A tenant will be in breach of their tenancy agreement where a vehicle:

    • Causes a nuisance to other residents because it is blocking access to common areas, including derelict vehicles left in resident car park spaces.
    • Interferes with the comfort of surrounding neighbours because it is occupying car spaces allocated for visitors.
    • Represents a hazard because it is in a state of disrepair and has been left in a common area.

    9. Approving additional occupants

    In most cases, Housing NSW will approve applications for additional occupants if:

    • It does not cause severe overcrowding, and
    • The additional occupant does not have a poor record of tenancy with Housing NSW, and
    • The household composition is suitable for the type of property. For example, if an additional occupant wishes to take up residency in a Senior Communities property, Housing NSW will only approve the application if the composition remains consistent with the objectives of Senior Communities, and
    • If the additional occupant owes any money to Housing NSW from a previous tenancy, the occupant has made arrangements to repay the debt, and
    • If the additional occupant has a current tenancy with Housing NSW, this tenancy must be finalised, and
    • The additional occupant is not an unsatisfactory or ineligible former tenant.

    An additional occupant may not be approved if it is likely that the presence of that occupant will cause nuisance and annoyance.

     

    Further Housing NSW may not approve the additional occupant if he or she has a history of having committed registrable offences and it is likely that the presence of that applicant in social housing will:

    • Cause nuisance and annoyance, or
    • Present an unacceptable risk of harm to the client, to other social housing occupants or to neighbours.

    Housing NSW may defer approval for an additional occupant if the tenant’s rent account is in arrears.

     

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    10. Applying visitor sanctions to individual tenancies

    A visitor sanction will be applied if there is evidence that:

    • Previous visitors to the tenancy have not met the standard of behaviour required by Housing NSW under the residential tenancy agreement, or
    • The tenant or members of their household are not meeting the standard of behaviour required under the residential tenancy agreement, or
    • New people have joined the household (including visitors who are staying more than 28 days) and the tenant has not asked for approval from Housing NSW, or
    • In the case of tenants who receive a rent subsidy, they have not declared the income of all people living in the household (including visitors who are staying more than 28 days) to Housing NSW.

    11. Applying visitor sanctions to a group of tenancies within a complex, precinct or area

    Housing NSW will apply a visitor sanction if it has a strategy directed to combating anti-social behaviour in the complex, precinct or area based on:

    • Evidence of serious or repeated instances of criminal behaviour or anti-social behaviour that pose a risk to neighbours, Housing NSW staff, others in the community or Housing NSW property, and cannot be addressed by applying a visitor sanction to one or more individual tenancies in the complex, precinct or area, or
    • Evidence of serious or repeated instances of behaviour that are unacceptable in a Housing NSW managed tenancy and cannot be addressed by applying a visitor sanction to one or more individual tenancies in the complex, precinct or area.

    When deciding whether or not to apply a visitor sanction, Housing NSW will consider the merits of all relevant information, including:

    • Orders made by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
    • Police reports.
    • Witness incident reports.
    • Apprehended violence orders.
    • Local Government orders.
    • Records collected or created by Housing NSW such as file notes, rent subsidy records, letters or reports provided by other people or organisations, forms and photographs.

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    During a tenancy – Being away from the property

    1. Approving an absence from the property

    Housing NSW will approve an absence from the property if it is satisfied that:

    • The tenant has made arrangements to pay their tenancy charges, such as rent and water usage, while they are away. In some cases, the minimum rent may apply. For more information see the Charging Rent Policy. In some cases, water usage charges may be adjusted. For more information see the Water Usage Charges Policy.
    • The property will be adequately cared for while the tenant is away.
    • The tenant has an acceptable reason for going away.

    2. Acceptable absences

    Acceptable reasons for absences up to six months include:

    • Caring for sick/frail family members.
    • Hospitalisation, institutional care, nursing home care or rehabilitation.
    • Escaping domestic violence, harassment or threats of violence.
    • Assisting with immigration matters in the country of origin.
    • Holidays.
    • Employment, education or training.

    Housing NSW will not approve repeat absences relating to holidays, assisting with immigration matters in the country of origin or employment/training.

    3. Tenants going to prison

    If a tenant is going into prison, or is an Accord client who is participating in a rehabilitation program, they can apply to retain the tenancy for up to three months. However, if Housing NSW is reasonably satisfied that the imprisonment will be in excess of three months, Housing NSW can ask the tenant to relinquish the tenancy immediately. For more information see A tenant’s obligations when they end their tenancy section in the Ending a Tenancy Policy.

     

    Housing NSW will consider each case on its merits. However, if the reason for imprisonment is related to a breach of the tenancy agreement, Housing NSW will take action to terminate the tenancy. If the tenant has not been released from prison at the end of three months, Housing NSW will consider an application for recognition as a tenant from a remaining household member, or terminate the tenancy.

    4. Tenants going into a nursing home

    If the tenant is in a nursing home, Housing NSW will not approve requests for absence beyond the initial six months. The tenant should relinquish the tenancy or ask Housing NSW to consider an application for recognition as a tenant from a remaining household member. For more information see A tenant’s obligations when they end their tenancy section in the Ending a Tenancy Policy.

     

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    During a tenancy – Contact with tenants and access to the property

    1. Client service visits

    Housing NSW conducts client service visits to keep up to date with tenancy management needs such as:

    • Finding out about problems a tenant may be experiencing with their tenancy such as maintenance issues, problems with neighbours, difficulties paying rent or property care issues.
    • Identifying if tenants need support to live independently, or need to be linked in with support services to maintain their tenancy.
    • Ensuring that a tenant aged over 60, or 45 if Aboriginal, has been contacted.
    • Confirming who is living at the property and that the correct amount of rent is being paid.
    • Updating Housing NSW’s information about the condition of the property.
    • Discussing any plans Housing NSW may have for the property, such as painting or other maintenance.
    • Confirming that both the tenant and Housing NSW are meeting their obligations under the tenancy agreement.

    2. New tenancies

    A Housing NSW staff member, usually the Client Service Officer managing the property, will visit each tenant shortly after their new tenancy starts. New tenancies include:

    • Tenants who are in their first tenancy with Housing NSW or the Aboriginal Housing Office.
    • Tenants who are in a new property after a transfer or mutual exchange.

    3. What tenants can expect of Housing NSW staff when arranging and conducting client service visits

    Tenants can expect that Housing NSW staff arranging and conducting client service visits will:

    • Give at least seven days written notice of the client service visit. This is consistent with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.
    • Reschedule a visit for a more convenient time if the tenant advises that the proposed date or time is inconvenient.
    • Tell them the purpose of the client service visit.
    • Treat them with courtesy and respect, in line with Housing NSW’s Code of Conduct.
    • Enable tenants to arrange to have a support person with them during the client service visit, if they wish.
    • Arrive well prepared for the client service visit by bringing any necessary information or paperwork with them.
    • When conducting the visit, wear their Housing NSW photo identification and carry a business card to leave with the tenant if necessary.
    • Confirm clearly the outcomes of the client service visit and the broad timeframes for any actions agreed during the visit.
    • Keep a written record of any agreements made with the tenant during the visit.

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    During a tenancy – Lease reviews

    1. Evidence requirements to determine length of lease  

    Income

    Any documents provided as proof of income must be original. For more information, go to Proof of income and assets.

     

    Ongoing access to care or support program

     

    Formal care

     

    A letter from the organisation providing the care or support program. The letter must detail the type of care or support provided.

     

    Care provided by an individual

     

    A copy of a Centrelink statement confirming receipt of the Carer Payment or Carer Allowance, or

     

    A copy of a Circumstance Review Form issued by Centrelink, or

     

    A copy of the Concession card from the person who is receiving the care. The concession card must identify their carer.

     

    Disability

     

    A Centrelink statement confirming receipt of one of the following income types:

    • Disability Support Pension.
    • Carer Payment.
    • Carer Allowance.
    • Mobility Allowance.

    Veterans

     

    A Department of Veteran Affairs statement confirming receipt of one of the following service pensions:

    • Age Service Pension.
    • Invalidity Service Pension.
    • Partner Service Pension.

    Persons aged 65 years or over

    • Birth certificate, or
    • Passport.

    Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person aged 45 years or over

     

    Aboriginality must be confirmed, to do this one of the following forms must be completed:

    • Confirmation of Aboriginality – Local Aboriginal Land Council form or
    • Confirmation of Aboriginality – Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander form or
    • Confirmation of Aboriginality – Statutory Declaration and supporting document(s) and
    • A birth certificate or Passport.

    For more information on Confirmation of Aboriginality see the Social Housing Eligibility and Allocations Policy Supplement.

     

    Participation in a Transition to Work Program or Community Participation Program

     

    A letter from the program provider.

     

    A client of the NSW Trustee and Guardian or the Public Guardian

     

    A letter of confirmation from either the NSW Trustee or the Public Guardian.

     

    Young people leaving Community Services, Out-Of-Home care, or juvenile detention and in receipt of a Youth Disability Supplement

    • A letter of confirmation from Community Services (CS) or an accredited Out-of-Home care provider, or a letter of discharge from Juvenile Justice (JJ), and
    • A Centrelink income statement.

    2. Income limits at lease review  

    The maximum household income (before tax) must not exceed the limits listed in the table below. These limits are set at a higher level than the income limits for entry to public housing.

    Table 1: Income limits at lease review from 7 July 2014

    Household member

    Maximum Gross Income (before Tax

    Weekly

     

    Single adult

    $919

     

    Each additional adult (18 years or over)

    Add $244

     

    First Child (under 18)

    Add $181

     

    Each additional child (under 18 years)

    Add $125

     

    Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $95

     

    Exceptional Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $220

     

     

    Members of a household who have an enduring (permanent, or likely to be permanent) disability, medical condition or permanent injury that results in significant ongoing financial costs being incurred, may qualify for a disability allowance. This allowance raises the lease review income eligibility limit for each household member who demonstrates that they have an enduring disability, medical condition or injury.

     

    Where a tenant can demonstrate significant ongoing financial costs that exceed the standard disability allowance, they may qualify for an exceptional disability allowance. Housing NSW will apply this allowance instead of, but not in addition to, the disability allowance a tenant may have already qualified for.

     

    Housing NSW applies these allowances in recognition of the additional financial burden that medical costs may have on the household income of clients with a disability or medical condition.

     

    For more information on disabilities, go to Examples of disability, medical or permanent injury expenses and Evidence requirements for disability, medical or permanent injury expenses.aaaa

     

    3. Evidence requirements for an exemption  

    Exemption relating to a disability and ongoing medical condition

    A letter from one or more of the following support providers demonstrating how a tenant or other household member is likely to be placed at serious risk to health or harm if they moved from public housing:

    • A medical specialist.
    • A health worker such as a community nurse, occupational therapist or physiotherapist.
    • A psychiatrist, psychologist or mental health worker.
    • Support organisations such as the Home Care Service, Home Nursing Service, Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS).

    Exemption relating to vulnerable children or young people at risk

    A document demonstrating how a child or young person is likely to be placed at risk of abuse or neglect if the household moved from public housing. This could be one or more of the following:

    • A report from a doctor or specialist.
    • A report from a human service professional such as a social worker, caseworker, psychologist, psychiatrist or counsellor.
    • A referral letter from a Community Services child protection worker requesting assistance from Housing NSW.
    • A letter from the NSW Police Force, or
    • A current Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) accompanied by one or more of the above documents.

    Exemption relating to maintaining education, employment, training or apprenticeship

    A letter from one or more of the following providers demonstrating how a tenant or household member’s ability to continue with employment, training or education would be jeopardised if they moved from public housing:

    • School principal.
    • Employer.
    • University or TAFE Course coordinator.
    • Other employment or training professional.
    • The support letter must also identify:
    • A need to access employment or an apprenticeship at least once per week on an ongoing basis, or
    • A need to access special education or training facilities at least once a week for a period of more than 6 months from the lease end date.

    Exemption relating to affordability and accessibility of alternative housing

    The unavailability of affordable and accessible private rental accommodation can be substantiated by:

    • An internet search conducted by Housing NSW for properties for lease, or
    • Business cards and rental listings from real estate agents provided by the tenant, which state that the agency has no accommodation that is affordable or appropriate for the tenant, and
    • A report from a health professional or advocate that states the reasons for needing a specific dwelling type where accessibility to private rental accommodation is an issue.

    4. Evidence requirements for a change of circumstances after lease review 

    Tenants must provide relevant information before Housing NSW will consider a reassessment. If Housing NSW decides the tenant is eligible for an extension to their lease due to a change of circumstances, Housing NSW will offer a maximum two year lease extension in accommodation that is appropriate to the size and needs of the household.

     

    For a change of circumstances related to a risk to a household member which is described in the assessment criteria for exemptions, see the evidence requirements above.

     

    Evidence requirements for a change of circumstances related to a loss of employment resulting in the household income decreasing below the income limits at lease review

     

    • All household members need to supply current income details.
    • Household members must provide evidence of being in receipt of a Centrelink benefit when applying for a reassessment due to a loss of employment.
    • Household members who have reduced earnings or a reduced number of hours of employment must provide a statement signed by their employer. The statement must confirm:
      • The number of hours worked, and
      • When this arrangement commenced, and
      • The regular weekly income, and
      • The permanency of the arrangement.
      • A copy of a current payslip is not sufficient

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    Evidence requirements for other changes in circumstances including a change in household complement resulting in a decrease in income below the income limits at lease review

    Documentation from two or more of the following identifying the former household member’s new address:

    • Supply authorities such as gas, electricity, water and telephone providers.
    • Real estate agents.
    • A tenancy agreement.
    • A driver’s license.
    • A Centrelink statement.
    • A statutory declaration confirming occupancy at an alternative location. This may be provided by the person with whom the former household member is now residing.

    5. Previous lease review income limits 

    This section presents various lease review income eligibility.

    Table 1: Income limits at lease review from 18 March 2013 to 6 July 2014

    Household member

    Maximum Gross Income (before Tax

    Weekly

     

    Single adult

    $888

     

    Each additional adult (18 years or over)

    Add $238

     

    First Child (under 18)

    Add $175

     

    Each additional child (under 18 years)

    Add $119

     

    Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $90

     

    Exceptional Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $215

     

     

    Table 2: Income limits at lease review from 2 July 2012 to 17 March 2013

    Household member

    Maximum Gross Income (before Tax

    Weekly

     

    Single adult

    $856

     

    Each additional adult (18 years or over)

    Add $225

     

    First Child (under 18)

    Add $169

     

    Each additional child (under 18 years)

    Add $113

     

    Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $85

     

    Exceptional Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $200

     

     

    Table 3: Income limits at lease review from 1 July 2011 to 1 July 2012

    Household member

    Maximum Gross Income (before Tax

    Weekly

     

    Single adult

    $844

     

    Each additional adult (18 years or over)

    Add $225

     

    First Child (under 18)

    Add $163

     

    Each additional child (under 18 years)

    Add $113

     

    Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $85

     

    Exceptional Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $200

     

    Table 4: Income limits at lease review from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011

    Household member

    Maximum Gross Income (before Tax

    Weekly

     

    Single adult

    $794

     

    Each additional adult (18 years or over)

    Add $213

     

    First Child (under 18)

    Add $156

     

    Each additional child (under 18 years)

    Add $106

     

    Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $80

     

    Exceptional Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $165

     

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    Table 5: Income limits at lease review from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010 

    Household member

    Maximum Gross Income (before Tax

    Weekly

     

    Single adult

    $769

     

    Each additional adult (18 years or over)

    Add $200

     

    First Child (under 18)

    Add $156

     

    Each additional child (under 18 years)

    Add $106

     

    Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $80

     

    Exceptional Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $155

     

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    Table 6: Income limits at lease review from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009

    Household member

    Maximum Gross Income (before Tax

    Weekly

     

    Single adult

    $744

     

    Each additional adult (18 years or over)

    Add $194

     

    First Child (under 18)

    Add $150

     

    Each additional child (under 18 years)

    Add $100

     

    Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $75

     

    Exceptional Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $150

     

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    Table 7: Income limits at lease review to 30 June 2008

    Household member

    Maximum Gross Income (before Tax

    Weekly

     

    Single adult

    $688

     

    Each additional adult (18 years or over)

    Add $181 to the income limit

     

    First Child (under 18)

    Add $137 to the income limit

     

    Each additional child (under 18 years)

    Add $94

     

    Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $70

     

    Exceptional Disability Allowance (per person)

    Add $140

     

     

    Changing a tenancy – Relocating tenants for management purposes

    1. Relocations for portfolio management purposes

    Housing NSW will relocate a tenant for portfolio management purposes:

    • When it intends to sell a property or a group of properties.
    • When it intends to demolish a property or a group of properties.
    • When Housing NSW will redevelop the land the property is on to provide more appropriate housing.
    • When it has designated the property for occupation by a particular client group, such as older people, and the tenant or household does not belong to this client group.
    • When it has designated the property for transfer to community housing management.
    • When it does not own the property and the lease with the private landlord has expired.

    For any other compelling reason relating to the management of Housing NSW’s property portfolio.

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    2. Relocations for tenancy management purposes

    Housing NSW will relocate a tenant for tenancy management purposes for the following reasons:

    • Under-occupancy – the property is too large for the tenant’s household, for example, due to changing circumstances such as children leaving home. For more information, see Social Housing Eligibility and Allocations Policy Supplement.
    • Overcrowding – too many people are living at the property.
    • The property has features, such as modifications for people with a disability that are no longer needed by the people living in the property.
    • Housing NSW intends to carry out substantial upgrading work on the property and the property needs to be vacant so that this work can happen.
    • Management of neighbour disputes or social disharmony that involves or affects the tenant.
    • The property or its location is unsuitable for the tenant and their capacity to sustain a Housing NSW managed tenancy is threatened.
    • Any other compelling reason relating to the management of a particular tenancy.

    3. Relocation of younger tenants from Senior Communities properties

    Relocation will be offered to younger tenants within the six month transitional period, which is the date from when Housing NSW classifies the complex as Senior Communities. Date of classification is the date tenants are advised in writing that the complex is Senior Communities.

     

    Younger tenants living in Senior Communities can meet with Housing NSW staff to discuss their relocation options. If the tenant agrees to be rehoused, they will be relocated in accordance with the procedures for relocating tenants for management purposes.

     

    Within the six month transitional period an agreement with the tenant and Housing NSW needs to be in place in accordance with the Relocation Statement. The tenant will be offered accommodation when a suitable match for an available property can be made.

     

    Some parts of the policy for relocating tenants for management purposes will not apply. Sections relating to terminating tenancies under Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act will not be used when a relocations statement has been issued within the six month transitional period. This means that Housing NSW’s right to take action at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to terminate the tenancy if the tenant refuses all reasonable rehousing offers will be waived. It will then be assumed that the tenant wants to stay living in the complex.

     

    At the end of the six month transitional period tenants who request to be relocated to alternative accommodation must apply for a transfer and be assessed under the transfer criteria.

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    4. The relocation process

    Telling the tenant about the relocation

    Housing NSW will tell the tenant about the relocation in person and provide follow up information in writing.

     

    If the relocation is for tenancy management reasons, this will happen as soon as reasonably practical after the decision to relocate the tenant is made.

     

    If the relocation is for portfolio management reasons, this will happen as soon as reasonably practical after Housing NSW makes a confirmed portfolio management decision.

     

    The information provided to the tenant at this point will include the contact details for the Housing NSW officer who will be the tenant’s first point of contact for any issues relating to the relocation process.

    Interviewing the tenant to find out their housing and relocation needs

    The purpose of this interview is to gather information about the tenant’s situation so that Housing NSW can:

    • Make an appropriate offer of alternative housing, and
    • Offer the tenant appropriate assistance during the relocation process, and
    • Where appropriate, make arrangements to move or compensate the tenant for improvements made to the property.

    Housing NSW expects the tenant to cooperate with Housing NSW by making themselves available for this interview. Housing NSW will proceed without completing this step if the tenant does not respond after reasonable notice.

    When Housing NSW approaches a tenant to move due to under-occupancy and they refuse outright to relocate, Housing NSW will apply a Vacant Bedroom Charge to their tenancy by adjusting the tenant’s rent subsidy. For more information, see Charging Rent Policy.

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    Giving the tenant an individual relocation statement

    The relocation statement sets out in writing:

    • The tenant’s housing and relocation entitlements. These entitlements will be based on Housing NSW’s assessment of information provided by the tenant during the interview process.
    • The location that the tenant will be rehoused to.
    • The number of reasonable offers of alternative housing that the tenant can expect to receive.
    • Housing NSW’s intention to apply a Vacant Bedroom Charge to the tenant’s tenancy by adjusting the tenant’s rent subsidy. The charge will apply when Housing NSW has approached a tenant due to under-occupancy and the tenant refuses two reasonable offers of alternative social housing.
    • Housing NSW’s intention to exercise its right to take action at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to terminate the tenancy if the tenant refuses all reasonable rehousing offers.
    • The steps that the tenant can take to seek a review of any decision taken by Housing NSW to terminate their tenancy on the basis that the offers of alternative housing have been rejected.

    Confirming that Housing NSW’s information about the tenant’s housing needs is up to date

    Housing NSW will contact the tenant to confirm that its information about the tenant’s housing needs is up to date shortly before making any offer of alternative housing.

     

    It is the tenant’s responsibility to respond in a timely manner, and if they do not respond, Housing NSW will proceed on the basis of the information that it has previously collected.

    Offering alternative housing to the tenant

    Housing NSW will follow the approach set out in the Matching and Offering a Property to a Client Policy to identify alternative properties that meet the needs of the tenant and their household.

     

    When an appropriate property is identified, it will be offered to the tenant using the approach set out in the Matching and Offering a Property to a Client Policy.

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    Recording the tenant’s response to the offer

    With one exception, Housing NSW will follow the approach set out in the Matching and Offering a Property to a Client Policy to:

    • Record the tenant’s response to the offer, and
    • If the tenant rejects the offer, decide whether or not the tenant’s rejection of the offer was reasonable.

    The exception is that if the tenant rejects the offer, Housing NSW will give the tenant seven days if they are being relocated for portfolio management reasons, or 14 days if they are being relocated for tenancy management reasons, to give written reasons why the offer was rejected.

     

    Housing NSW can extend this timeframe for a short time if the tenant requests it and has good reasons for making the request.

    Offer accepted – making final arrangements for signing the new tenancy agreement and relocation

    Housing NSW will liaise with the tenant about:

    • The date that their new tenancy will start.
    • The arrangements for signing their new tenancy agreement.
    • Arrangements for moving.
    • If Housing NSW has agreed to move or replace improvements made to the tenant’s current property, the arrangements for installing improvements in the new property.
    • If Housing NSW has agreed to compensate the tenant for improvements that will not be moved or replaced, payment of this compensation.

    Housing NSW will follow the approach in the Starting a Tenancy Policy when signing the tenant to their new tenancy agreement.

    First reasonable offer not accepted and the tenant will receive more than one offer

    Where a tenant is to receive more than one offer, a second offer will be made.

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    Final reasonable offer not accepted – Apply Vacant Bedroom Charge

    If a tenant refuses two reasonable offers of alternative social housing when under-occupying a property Housing NSW will apply a Vacant Bedroom Charge to their tenancy by adjusting the tenant’s rent subsidy. As a result the subsidised rent the tenant pays will increase by $20 a week per household if there is one person aged 16 years and over and $30 a week per household for two or more people aged 16 years and over. For more information, see Charging Rent Policy.

     

    In most cases Housing NSW will apply a Vacant Bedroom Charge instead of issuing a notice of termination to under-occupying tenants.

     

    Final reasonable offer not accepted - Notice of intention to issue a notice of termination

    Before giving notice of termination of an existing agreement to a tenant, the landlord is to advise the tenant of the decision to do so by a notice in writing.

     

    Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 specifies that the notice must be in writing and, among other things:

    • Contain particulars of why the landlord wishes the tenant to move to alternative premises, and
    • State that the tenant may apply to the landlord for a review of the decision within 14 days after the notice of intention to issue a notice of termination is given to the tenant, and
    • Give particulars of how such an application may be made, and
    • State that the tenant is entitled to make representations to the landlord orally or in writing as to why the existing agreement should not be terminated.

    A notice of termination cannot be given before the end of the 14 day period within which the tenant may apply for a review under Section 149 of the decision to give the notice of termination, or the end of the review itself.

    Review by landlord

    A tenant may decide whether or not to apply to the landlord for a review of the decision and make representations in writing, or orally, to the landlord as to why the existing agreement should not be terminated. If oral representations are made, the landlord will record a file note of such oral representations.

     

    A tenant has 14 days after the notice is given to apply to the landlord for a review.

     

    If the tenant does apply to the landlord for a review, the landlord is to review the decision in accordance with the Procedures Approved by the Minister for Reviews under Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act.

     

    The landlord must give consideration to representations made by the tenant and the landlord must ensure that the tenant is allowed to adequately communicate or articulate their views.

     

    In order to ensure that the tenant’s representations are fully and adequately considered, an officer of Housing NSW at least of a Clerk Grade 9/10 level or equivalent, or a senior officer at managerial level of any other landlord of a social housing tenancy agreement (the ‘reviewer’) is, upon application by a tenant, to review the decision under Section 149 to issue a notice of termination.

     

    The reviewer must, in the course of the review, take into account those factors relevant to the Section 149 notice.

     

    Relevant factors could include the following:

    1. The need to redevelop a particular property, neighbourhood, locality or estate.
    2. The extent of serious neighbourhood disputes.
    3. The requirements of the landlord to manage social housing tenancies in a manner which reduces neighbourhood disputes and social unrest.
    4. The requirement to ensure that the offer of alternative premises is such that the neighbourhood dispute or social unrest is so far as possible minimised and to that extent ensure that the offer of alternative premises is in such a locality whereby social unrest is minimised. In many cases, this will mean that a tenant may be offered alternative premises sufficiently distant from their existing premises as to make it most unlikely that the person may readily return to cause further social nuisance.
    5. The need to maximise the use of all housing resources.

    The reviewer will consider:

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    Time within which review is to be heard and finalised

    Within seven calendar days of the receipt of the application for review from the tenant, the reviewer shall hear and consider all required matters and record the considerations and proposed decision.

     

    If the reviewer decides that a notice of termination should be issued the reviewer will automatically refer the matter to the Housing Appeals Committee.

     

    Referral to the Housing Appeals Committee

    The review will be referred to the Housing Appeals Committee to provide a ‘useful oversight function.’ The Housing Appeals Committee can make a non-binding recommendation to the landlord. The consideration by the Housing Appeals Committee will be available as an automatic separate, independent function.

     

    Relevant considerations for the Housing Appeals Committee include:

    Time within which review is to be heard and finalised

    The Housing Appeals Committee shall be required to issue its recommendation within seven days after receipt of the matter from the reviewer.

    Decision of landlord

    Upon return of the recommendation from the Housing Appeals Committee, the reviewer must give consideration to any recommendation from the Housing Appeals Committee.

     

    The reviewer acting for the landlord will, within a period of five days upon receipt of the recommendation from the Housing Appeals Committee, make the decision as required by Section 149(6) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

     

    After the review, the landlord may give a notice of termination of the existing agreement, advise the tenant that the landlord has decided not to give a notice of termination of the existing agreement, or make a new offer of alternative premises that differ from those the subject of the review.

     

    The reviewer will notify the tenant of the decision.

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    Right to second review if new offer made

    If there is a further review under Section 149(7) of the Residential Tenancies Act arising from a new offer of alternative accommodation, the second review will be conducted in a similar manner and with similar procedural requirements as to the first review.

    Notice of termination

    The landlord may give a notice of termination of the existing agreement to a tenant on the ground that the landlord has offered to enter into a new social housing tenancy agreement with the tenant with respect to alternative premises in accordance with Section 148 of the Residential Tenancies Act.

    5. Restriction and approval of rehousing location

    Housing NSW may restrict relocation to certain locations:

    • In order to minimise the risk of serious anti-social behaviour.
    • Where there are limited properties in the location.
    • Where the relocating tenant’s housing needs cannot be met in the location within a reasonable period of time.
    • Where the relocating tenant’s support needs cannot be met in the location within a reasonable period of time.
    • Where the tenant has nominated a high demand allocation zone but does not meet the locational needs criteria for that area.
    • Where there is a legal restriction on the tenant or a member of their household living in a particular location.
    • Where a person, agency or entity external to Housing NSW has made an assessment that a specific rehousing location would be inappropriate in specific circumstances and Housing NSW has accepted that assessment.

    Housing NSW may approve relocation to certain locations. Where the nominated allocation area is high demand approval will be given:

    • Where the tenant is able to establish a locational need for the allocation area, and
    • Housing NSW considers that there is a reasonable prospect of the tenant’s housing and/or support needs being met in the location, and
    • If there is a history of serious anti-social behaviour associated with the tenant or tenancy, Housing NSW considers there is a minimal risk of anti-social behaviour occurring in the new location, and
    • There is no compelling external reason why the tenant’s choice of location should not be approved.

    Where the nominated allocation area is not high demand approval will be given:

    • Housing NSW considers that there is a reasonable prospect of the tenant’s housing and/or support needs being met in the location, and
    • If there is a history of serious anti-social behaviour associated with the tenancy, Housing NSW considers that there will be minimal risk of the anti-social behaviour occurring in the new location, and
    • There is no compelling external reason why the tenant’s choice of location should not be approved.

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    6. Assistance with the relocation process

    While each tenant’s situation will be different, the types of assistance that Housing NSW could consider include:

    • Assistance with moving expenses, utility reconnection fees, or establishment expenses in the new property.
    • Reimbursement for approved improvements made to the tenant’s current property.
    • Moving approved improvements from the tenant’s current property to their new property and reinstalling them. Where a Housing NSW tenant is moving to a property managed by a community housing provider, the moving of any improvements will be negotiated with the community housing provider.

    If the tenant is being relocated for portfolio management purposes, Housing NSW may provide assistance if it is satisfied that the expense is:

    • Reasonable, and
    • Incurred as a result of Housing NSW requiring the tenant to relocate to another property.

    If the tenant is being relocated for tenancy management purposes, Housing NSW may provide assistance if it is satisfied that:

    • If the assistance is not provided, the tenant is unlikely to be able to establish a successful and sustainable tenancy in the new location, and
    • If the assistance is provided, it will assist the tenant to establish and maintain a successful and sustainable tenancy in the new location.

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    7. Relocation offers

    Decision that the tenant is to receive one reasonable offer of alternative housing

    The need to achieve Housing NSW’s broader strategic or operational outcomes outweighs the desire of Housing NSW to make two reasonable offers of alternative accommodation to the tenant.

     

    Broader operational outcomes can include:

    • Housing NSW has a compelling financial or operational need to achieve the relocation within a specific timeframe and this timeframe is not reasonably achievable if the tenant is entitled to two reasonable offers of alternative accommodation.
    • Seeking to end a situation of anti-social behaviour or disruption in the neighbourhood associated with a particular tenant or tenancy.
    • A documented history of the tenant failing to respond to communications from Housing NSW within a reasonable period of time.
    • A compelling external reason.

    What is a reasonable offer?

    An offer is reasonable if it will meet the client’s known housing and locational needs, and allows continued access to services, based on the merits of the information provided by the tenant during the relocation process.

     

    For more information about the criteria Housing NSW applies to decide if an offer is reasonable, see the Matching and Offering a Property to a Client Policy.

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    Extension of time to give written reasons why an offer of alternative housing was rejected

    Housing NSW can extend this timeframe if:

    • The tenant needs to obtain additional written documentation to support their decision to reject the offer, and it is not reasonably possible to get this documentation within the seven day time period, and/or
    • Health or disability circumstances affecting the tenant or a member of their household mean that it is not reasonable to expect the tenant to provide written reasons within the timeframe.

    8. Decision to apply a Vacant Bedroom Charge to the tenant’s rent subsidy

    Housing NSW is satisfied that:

    9. Decision to give the tenant notice that Housing NSW intends to issue a Notice of Termination

    Housing NSW is satisfied that:

    10. Eligible to request to return to a property after redevelopment

    • The tenant is being relocated so that their property can be redeveloped, and
    • After redevelopment, properties on the site will be used to provide social housing.

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    11. Approval to return to a property after redevelopment

    If the properties on the site will be managed by Housing NSW after redevelopment:

    • The housing needs of the tenant and their household match the property characteristics of a property to be built at the site including:
      • Number of bedrooms, and
      • Specific features of the property, such as modifications or ground floor access that must be required by the household, and
      • If relevant, the tenant or a member of their household belongs to the client group to be housed at the site, and
      • There is no compelling operational or external reason why approval to return should not be granted.

    If the properties on the site will be managed by a community housing provider after redevelopment:

    • The housing needs of the tenant and their household match the property characteristics of a property to be built at the site including:
      • Number of bedrooms, and
      • Specific features of the property such as modifications or ground floor access that must be required by the household, and
      • If relevant, the tenant or a member of their household belongs to the client group to be housed at the site, and
    • The tenant agrees to become a tenant of the community housing provider. Housing NSW, in conjunction with the community housing provider, can request that this happens either:
      • When relocated from the current property so that the redevelopment can occur, or
      • When returning to the site after the redevelopment is finished, and
    • The tenant and their household are eligible for assistance under the policies of the community housing provider managing the properties, and
    • There is no compelling operational or external reason why approval to return should not be granted.

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    Changing a tenancy – Mutual exchange

    1. Criteria for approving a mutual exchange

    Housing NSW will only approve a mutual exchange if:

    • Both rent, water and other tenancy charge accounts are up to date, and
    • The number of bedrooms is appropriate to the size of the household, and
    • Any damage to the current dwelling is fixed before moving, and
    • The income of both tenants does not exceed the income eligibility limits for social housing (this condition may be waived if the exchange is related to a medical condition or disability that means the current housing is unsuitable), and
    • There are no unresolved substantiated nuisance and annoyance complaints against either tenant, and
    • The tenant agrees to accept the relevant type and length of lease when they move.

    Housing NSW will generally not approve a mutual exchange if:

    • One of the properties is part of a proposed redevelopment site or likely to be sold.
    • A property would be under-occupied by more than one bedroom, or severely overcrowded.
    • Extensive modifications have been made to a dwelling to meet the needs of the tenant.
    • The exchange would result in a tenant losing an advantage gained by a previous transfer.
    • One of the properties is a Senior Communities property and the exchanging tenant does not meet the eligibility criteria for a Senior Communities property.
    • One of the properties is an Aboriginal Housing Office property and the exchanging tenant (or one or more of their household members) is not an Aboriginal person.

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    Changing a tenancy – Recognition as a tenant

     

    1. Exceptions to minimum period of occupation  

     

    Housing NSW will consider applicants with a shorter period of occupancy in the following circumstances:

    1. If the client was recently released from prison or institutionalised care, and they used to live in the tenancy, Housing NSW will assess the application on its merits, but will not decline it on the basis that the client was not living with the tenant while in prison or institutionalised.

      Factors that Housing NSW will consider are the likelihood of the client living in the household if they were not in prison or institutionalised care, the tenancy history and their ability to otherwise meet their housing need.

    2. If the client has relinquished a Housing NSW managed tenancy to act as a live-in carer to the tenant or a member of their household, then recognition as a tenant may be granted even if they have not been part of that household for the past two years.

    3. A spouse or de facto partner will be considered for recognition as a tenant even if they have temporarily moved away for reasons related to the illness of the tenant, care of an ill person or their own ill-health. The spouse or de facto partner must provide evidence that their temporary absence was due to these reasons.

    2. Evidence requirements for a de facto partner  

    Where a client claims to be the de-facto partner of the tenant, Housing NSW must verify that the relationship is de facto. This verification is based on the NSW Property (Relationships) Act 1984. This Act gives important rights to de facto partners when settling private property and other assets.

     

    The Act defines a de facto relationship as a relationship between two adult persons, of the same or opoosite sex, who:

    • Live together as a couple, and
    • Are not married to one another or related by family.

    The Act gives additional property rights to adults who have been in a de facto relationship for two or more years.

     

    When it is difficult to determine the nature of the relationship, an appropriate officer may ask to interview the client. If the information requested has been provided and there has been a reasonable amount of inquiry, yet staff are still in doubt as to the de facto status of the relationship, the benefit of the decision will go to the client.

     

    If Housing NSW does not accept that a de facto relationship exists, the client may apply for recognition as a tenant on the basis of being a household member other than the spouse or de facto partner of the tenant.

     

    To verify a de facto relationship, Housing NSW will consider such information as Centrelink income statements, its records of when the client joined the tenancy and the local team's knowledge of the history of the tenancy.

     

    If Housing NSW accepts that a client is the de facto partner of the tenant, they will be assessed as a spouse.

    3. Evidence requirements for a live-in carer


    Where a client claims to have relinquished a Housing NSW managed property to act as the live-in carer for the tenant or other household member, Housing NSW must verify the carer status with one or more of the following documents:

    • A copy of a Centrelink statement confirming receipt of Carer Payment or Carer Allowance; or
    • A copy of a Circumstance Review Form issued by Centrelink; or
    • A copy of the Concession card from the person who is receiving the care. The concession card must identify their carer; or
    • Documentation from the tenant’s health care professional that supports that the applicant is the carer

    4. Recognition as a tenant for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander clients who are not current household members

     

    Aboriginal welfare board dwellings

     

    If the tenant has been living in an Aboriginal Welfare Board dwelling, Housing NSW may approve recognition as a tenant through succession to the client as a descendant of the original occupants even if they have not been living in the dwelling. The client must meet all other eligibility requirements for recognition as a tenant.

     

    Housing NSW tenancies

     

    Housing NSW may approve recognition as a tenant through succession if the applicant is an Aboriginal client who was not a member of the tenant's household at the end of their tenancy. Housing NSW will consider this if the applicant is the tenant's child or the tenant was active in their upbringing, they have grown up in the dwelling and have a long-term association with the dwelling and the area. The client must meet all other eligibility requirements for recognition as a tenant.

     

    Aboriginal Housing Office tenancies

     

    Housing NSW may approve recognition as a tenant through succession to an applicant if they are an Aboriginal client who was not a member of the tenant's household at the end of their tenancy. Housing NSW will consider this if they are the tenant's child or the tenant was active in their upbringing, they have grown up in the dwelling and they have a long-term association with the dwelling and the area. The applicant must meet all other Aboriginal Housing Office eligibility requirements and all other eligibility requirements for recognition as a tenant.

     

    For more information see the Changing a Tenancy Policy.

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    Changing a tenancy – Type and length of lease offered

    1. Type and length of lease after a transfer or mutual exchange

    Tenants on a continuous lease, who were housed before 1 July 2005, retain their rights to a continuous tenancy agreement when relocating through a transfer (including clients approved to vacate to the private rental market and receive a Private Rental Subsidy) or mutual exchange.

     

    Tenants on a fixed term lease will receive the remainder of their existing lease if they transfer or exchange before the lease review date.

     

    If the tenant is eligible for a lease extension, and the household relocates between the lease review date and the lease end date, they will be offered a lease extension of two, five or ten years.

     

    Tenants on fixed term leases who transfer or mutually exchange must sign a new tenancy agreement.

     

    Tenants on a fixed term lease who, after being approved for a transfer and the provision of a private rental subsidy, vacate to the private rental market, will be offered a new two, five or ten year fixed term lease based on an assessment of current household circumstances when they accept an offer of alternative public housing.

     

    If the tenant and their household are assessed as no longer eligible following a lease review, Housing NSW will not proceed with the transfer and the application will be closed. However in exceptional circumstances a tenant on a fixed term lease who is assessed as not eligible for a lease extension may be considered for emergency temporary accommodation rather than a transfer.

     

    Housing NSW will only consider emergency temporary accommodation where the tenant is proven to be at imminent risk in their current property. In this circumstance, Housing NSW will offer the tenant a three month fixed term lease to cover the remaining term of their existing lease.

    2. Type and length of lease after relocating for management purposes

    Tenants on a continuous lease, who were housed before 1 July 2005, retain their rights to a continuous tenancy agreement when relocating for management purposes.


    Tenants on a fixed term lease will receive the remainder of their existing lease if they relocate before the lease review date.

     

    If the tenant is eligible for a lease extension, and the household relocates between the lease review date and the lease end date, they will be offered a lease extension of two, five or ten years based on an assessment of current household circumstances.

    3. Type and length of lease after tenancy reinstatement approval

    Former tenants approved for tenancy reinstatement will be offered the type of lease they had when they left public housing. If the former tenant previously had a continuous lease, they will be offered a new continuous lease. If they had a fixed term lease, they will be offered a new two, five, or ten year fixed term lease based on the assessment of their current household circumstances.

    4. Type and length of lease after recognition as a tenant  

    In most cases, a client approved for recognition as a tenant will be offered a fixed term lease based on assessment of their circumstances, regardless of the type and length of lease offered to the previous tenant. If the previous tenant had a continuous lease, only the spouse or de facto partner will be offered a continuous lease. 

     

    A spouse or de facto partner residing in an Aboriginal Housing Office property or who is Aboriginal and residing in public housing has different entitlements. The type and length of lease offered will be the same type of lease as that of the previous tenant. If the previous tenant was on a fixed term lease the spouse or partner will be offered the remainder of that fixed lease, unless the succession of tenancy occurs between the lease review date and the lease end date. In this case the spouse or partner will be offered a new fixed term lease based on an assessment of their current household circumstances.

     

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    Ending a tenancy – Categorising a tenancy

    1. Eligible for a statement of satisfactory tenancy

    To be eligible for a tenancy statement, former tenants must:

    • Not have breached their tenancy agreement, and
    • Have a current nil or credit balance on all linked Housing NSW accounts (rent, water, repairs and former tenancies), and
    • Have a satisfactory payment performance in respect of those accounts for the 12 months prior to the eligibility assessment for a tenancy statement.

    For more information see the Private Rental Assistance Policy.

     

    Former tenants who were evicted (or left under threat of eviction) after their tenancy was terminated under Section 143 or 148 will be eligible for a tenancy statement provided they do not have other breaches outlined in the other categories listed in this policy.

    2. Satisfactory former tenants

    This category applies to former tenants who did not breach their former tenancy agreement. It also applies to former tenants who moved out of public housing owing Housing NSW less than $500.

     

    Former satisfactory tenants will be eligible for a statement of satisfactory tenancy once they have fully repaid any outstanding debts to Housing NSW, and if they also have a satisfactory payment performance for the 12 months prior to their assessment for a statement.

    3. Less than satisfactory former tenants

    Less than satisfactory former tenants include those who:

    • Left the property of their own accord (without being evicted or being under threat of eviction or under a current Notice of Termination), or
    • Left the property through termination action under Section 143 and 148 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (or Section 63B and 63F of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987), and:
    • Moved out owing Housing NSW more than $500 in rent, repairs, water usage or other charges, or
    • Abandoned the property, or
    • Left the property in an unsatisfactory condition, or
    • Had substantiated complaints of serious nuisance and annoyance during their tenancy.

    Substantiated nuisance and annoyance is defined as:

    • An order obtained from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal that a tenant had breached their tenancy agreement on nuisance and annoyance grounds, or
    • Written verification from the Police under the Memorandum of Understanding that the tenant had breached their tenancy agreement, for example, disturbing the peace while on the residential premises, or

    When serious nuisance and annoyance occurs a Senior Client Service Officer Specialist/Aboriginal Specialist must determine if the offending behaviour is due to an intellectual or psychiatric disability which could be addressed by the provision of adequate support from the appropriate support agency.

    4. Unsatisfactory former tenants

    Unsatisfactory former tenants include former tenants who:

    • Were evicted from their previous tenancy due to a breach of the tenancy agreement, or
    • Had their tenancy terminated in accordance with a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal order and were signed to a new tenancy agreement, or
    • Vacated before an Order of Possession to evict them was enforced for a breach of the tenancy Agreement, or
    • Vacated before an Order of Possession was obtained and had substantiated complaints of nuisance and annoyance that the Area Director approves as sufficient to justify the classification of Unsatisfactory, or
    • Are “repeat” less than satisfactory tenants (that is, they have moved out of a public housing property more than once and on more than one occasion were assigned a less than satisfactory category), or
    • Had substantiated complaints of nuisance and annoyance and were evicted, or
    • Had substantiated complaints of nuisance and annoyance (as defined above) and vacated before an Order of Possession to evict them was enforced.

    Unsatisfactory former tenants also include tenants who were previously subject to the Renewable Tenancies Policy and their tenancy was categorised as having an unsatisfactory standard of breaches. This does not include tenancies categorised as unsatisfactory due to illegal activities.

     

    Former tenants who were evicted or vacated under threat of eviction based on terminations under Section 143 (not eligible to reside in social housing) and Section 148 (the tenant rejected an offer of alternative social housing), or previously under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (Section 63B or 63F), will not have this eviction action included in the former tenant category assessment.

    5. Former tenants who are ineligible for social housing

    Former tenants who are ineligible for social housing include those who were evicted for extreme breaches of their tenancy agreement, who vacated before an Order of Possession for an extreme breach could be enforced, or who vacated before an Order of Possession was obtained for an extreme breach that has been substantiated by written verification from the police under the Memorandum of Understanding.

     

    Extreme breaches may include:

    • Illegal activities carried out by the tenant or a member of their household on Housing NSW’s premises. Conducting an unauthorised business is an illegal use of the premises however it is not an illegal activity unless the business itself is unlawful.
    • The tenant or a member of their household was convicted of arson or deliberate damage of a Housing NSW or an Aboriginal Housing Office property.
    • Physical attacks or serious verbal threats directed at neighbours or Housing NSW staff made by the tenant or a member of their household.

    Ineligible former tenants also include tenants who were previously subject to the Renewable Tenancies Policy and their tenancy was categorised as having an unsatisfactory standard of breaches due to illegal activity.

     

    Only District Directors can determine whether a former public housing tenant is ineligible for social housing due to a serious breach of their previous tenancy.

     

    In cases where the former tenant lived in an Aboriginal Housing Office property, the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Housing Office will determine whether the former tenant is ineligible for further housing assistance following advice from the relevant District Director.

     

    In regard to former Aboriginal clients in public housing, the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Housing Office will provide advice to the District Director but the final decision about ineligibility for housing rests with the District Director.

     

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    Last modified: Friday, 11 July 2014

    Housing Pathways © 2014
    Date last modified: Friday, 11 July 2014