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What’s new for tenants
All tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of their home. All household members and visitors must respect the right of their neighbours to feel safe, be comfortable within their home and have privacy.
The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) Antisocial Behaviour Management policy explains how FACS manages tenancy breaches caused by incidents of antisocial behaviour.
What is Antisocial Behaviour?
Antisocial behaviour includes:
- criminal and illegal activities
- behaviour that places the safety of others at risk
- inappropriate behaviour by tenants, other household occupants and visitors that cause deliberate or reckless damage to a FACS property.
FACS has defined antisocial behaviour into three categories which are treated differently for the purposes of regulation.
Categories of Antisocial Behaviour
- Severe illegal behaviour is behaviour which poses a risk to the safety or security of residents or property and may result in criminal charges and/or conviction; or significant damage to a FACS property.
- Serious antisocial behaviour involves activities that severely disturb neighbours; place the safety or security of a tenant, other household members, neighbours or FACS staff at risk; or cause damage to a FACS property.
- Minor and moderate antisocial behaviour involves activities which disturb the peace, comfort or privacy of other tenants or neighbours.
What does FACS do when a complaint is received?
If FACS receives a complaint relating to a breach of tenancy for antisocial behaviour, FACS will investigate the matter.
FACS may contact the complainant to gather evidence of the claims being made and may speak with other witnesses and agencies, including NSW Police.
FACS will contact the subject of the complaint by writing to them and inviting them to attend a scheduled interview to discuss the allegations.
The tenant accused of the antisocial behaviour will be provided the opportunity to reply to the allegations made against them and FACS will determine, based on the investigation and evidence provided, whether or not the complaint is substantiated.
FACS will then respond to both the complainant and the accused tenant notifying them of the action FACS has taken. This may include issuing a Strike Notice or action being taken through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to seek termination of the Tenancy Agreement.
If three Strike Notices are issued within a 12 month period, FACS may take action to end the tenancy. If the type of Antisocial Behaviour is considered severe illegal antisocial behaviour or serious antisocial behaviour, FACS may take action at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to end the tenancy.
What can a tenant do if a complaint is received about them?
If a complaint is received about your tenancy FACS will send a letter inviting you to attend a scheduled interview.
When you get the letter, you should:
- contact FACS immediately
- follow the directions set out in the letter you have received
- attend the scheduled interview
- provide evidence to FACS
- cease any antisocial behaviour immediately.
You can also find details of support services at your local office or online at www.hsnet.nsw.gov.au. Accessing support may assist you to meet your tenancy obligations and reduce the risk to your tenancy. For independent and free advice you can call:
- your local tenants advisory service
- The Department of Fair Trading, Renting Services on 133 220
- Tenants’ Union of NSW advice line on (02) 8117 3750 or 1800 251 101 or look at their website, or
- Law Access on 1300 888 529.
How do I report antisocial behaviour and what will I need to provide?
- Contact your local office
- Complete a Witness Incident Report and return this to your local office
- Complete the feedback form online
- Phone 1800 422 322 (Monday to Friday: 8.30am – 4.30pm)
Appeals for Strike Notices for Antisocial Behaviour
If you believe the decision to issue a First Strike or Second Strike Notice is wrong you should first discuss your concerns with your local office. If you still believe the decision made was wrong, you can ask to have the decision reviewed.
A request to review this decision must be made within 21 calendar days of the decision to issue a First or Second Strike Notice. If you do not lodge an appeal within that period, no other appeal to FACS or the Housing Appeals Committee will be available.