Housing

Rent and Water Arrears

Rent and Water Arrears

Oct 2016

Rent and Water Arrears

All Family and Community Services (FACS) Housing and Aboriginal Housing Office tenants are required to pay rent and water charges.

Rent and Water Arrears

As part of your tenancy agreement you must pay these charges on time. FACS Housing is reliant on the income received from rent and water usage payments to fund things such as service provision and maintenance.

If you are late with your rent or water payments your account will be in arrears and you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement. This could lead to you having to move out of your home.

FACS Housing will always let you know if you are behind in your rent or water charges. We will generally write to you about this; however we might also talk to you on the phone, visit you at home or notify you via electronic means.

You can also check your rent statement or phone your Client Service Officer and ask them to check your account.

You can also check your account balances online via MyHousing where you can view your transaction history, print account statements and make secure payments.

Sometimes things can get a bit tough and you might have problems managing your money. This might happen, for example, if you go into hospital, or if you have serious medical or disability issues.

If you are having problems managing your money or if you know that you will get behind in your payments, it is important that you contact your Client Service Officer as soon as possible.

The earlier you contact your Client Service Officer the easier it will be to help you find a solution. We can help arrange things like support from another agency or help with financial counselling.

If you are behind in your payments, FACS Housing will work with you to sort out the problem and help you get your payments back on track.

However, we can only do this if you are willing to talk to us and you make a commitment to catching up on your payments.

You can pay back your missed payments either in full or by instalments.

If you are unable to repay your arrears in full you can enter into an arrangement with FACS Housing to repay the outstanding amount.

You can also make secure online payments at any time via the FACS Housing website or MyHousing.

If you enter into an arrangement with FACS Housing you will be able to pay back any missed payments by paying an extra amount each week. FACS Housing will negotiate an arrangement that is both affordable for you and an amount that will mean that your arrears will be repaid within a reasonable amount of time.

If you are unable to afford the proposed repayment amount FACS Housing may consider a smaller amount. You must, however, demonstrate that the proposed amount is unaffordable. You will also be asked to get financial counselling through:

  • a financial counselling service
  • the NSW Trustee and Guardian or
  • the Public Guardian.

FACS Housing offers a range of payment methods. These include automatic deductions from Centrelink pensions and allowances, cash payments at any Australia Post Office or a Service NSW Centre and online payments via the FACS Housing website or MyHousing. If you would like more information about these payment methods please contact your Client Service Officer.

If you do not contact us to make an arrangement to catch up on your missed payments we will issue a Notice of Termination or make an application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to resolve the matter by:

  • applying for a Specific Performance Order or
  • applying for an order of Termination and Possession.

The orders that we ask the NCAT to issue will depend on how much you owe and whether you have been in arrears before. The orders might be that you have to pay back any money that you owe us or in more serious cases they might be orders that end your tenancy.

If you receive a notice from the NCAT to attend a hearing you should contact your Client Service Officer as soon as possible to talk to them about the problem. You should also attend the hearing in person.

If you don’t attend the hearing the NCAT might make orders without hearing your side of the story. If you are worried about attending on your own you can bring a friend or advocate with you.

If FACS Housing asks the NCAT to issue a Specific Performance Order it means that we are giving you an opportunity to correct a breach of your tenancy agreement. This usually means that we are asking for orders that you pay your rent or water charges on time and that you repay any arrears.

FACS Housing must issue you with a Notice of Termination if we are going to ask the NCAT to end your tenancy. If you receive a Notice of Termination it means that we have not been able to resolve your arrears or that you have broken a Specific Performance Order.

Issuing a Notice of Termination is a very serious step and if you receive one you should contact your Client Service Officer as soon as possible. If we do not hear from you we may have no choice but to proceed with action to end your tenancy.

If FACS Housing asks the NCAT to issue orders of Termination and Possession we are asking that your tenancy is legally ended on a certain date. The NCAT will order that you move out of your home on a particular date.

If you do not move out of the property by the date specified in the possession order, FACS Housing will apply for a Warrant of Possession for the NSW Sheriff’s Office to evict you.

If you receive a notice from the NCAT about orders of Termination and Possession it is very important that you contact your Client Service Officer as soon as possible. This may be your last opportunity to save your tenancy.

The Office of Fair Trading can give you advice about your tenancy rights and obligations, about how the NCAT works and can also help you find an advocate. You can visit the Office of Fair Trading website at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or call them on 13 32 20.

It is important that you continue to talk to FACS Housing about any difficulties you may have with your tenancy or in paying your rent. Even if FACS Housing is taking action with the NCAT it is still very important that you talk to us.

For information about your rights as an Aboriginal tenant, call your local Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, or your local general Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service. Contact details can be accessed from the following link http://nswats.com.au or speak to your local FACS office for contact information.


Are all your questions answered?

For more information call the Housing Contact Centre on 1800 422 322, visit www.housing.nsw.gov.au, or visit your local FACS office.

Translation service

If you need help with interpreting or translation because English is not your first language, phone the All Graduates Translating and Interpreting Service on 1300 652 488. They will phone the housing organisation and interpret for you for free.

إذا كنت بحاجة للمساعدة في الترجمة الشفهية أو الترجمة لأن اللغة الإنجليزية ليست لغتك الأولى، اتصل بشركة "أول جراديويتس" All Graduates على الرقم 1300 652 488.

如果你的母語不是英語,需要口譯或筆譯幫助,請致電All Graduates,電話號碼:1300 652 488。

Nếu quý vị cần hỗ trợ biên dịch hoặc phiên dịch vì tiếng Anh không phải là ngôn ngữ chính của quý vị, vui lòng gọi All Graduates theo số 1300 652 488.

www.facs.nsw.gov.au