This document defines Homes North’s approach to responding to issues of antisocial behaviour when a resident breaches their Residential Tenancy Agreement.
Note: It is important to note that applying this policy Homes North staff will maintain a focus on the maintenance of tenancies.
This policy applies to all tenants of Homes North.
Homes North is committed to maintaining a peaceful living environment for all residents. Homes North residents have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their property and to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours.
Residents have a responsibility to abide by the Antisocial Behaviour conditions of their Residential Tenancy Agreement, including being responsible for their own conduct as well as that of other occupants of the household and visitors to their property.
When antisocial behaviour is brought to our attention, Homes North will firstly encourage residents to sort out their own problems by discussion or through mediation. If the antisocial behaviour concerns a breach of the tenancy agreement by a Homes North resident, Homes North will take action.
This policy aims to balance the responsibilities of tenants, the rights and wellbeing of their neighbours in community housing, private residents and the broader community with the need to support tenants to sustain their community housing tenancies.
As this policy incorporates the Residential Tenancies and Housing Legislation Amendment (Public Housing – Antisocial Behaviour) Act 2015, Homes North will communicate new provisions for responding to antisocial behaviour by providing fact sheets in all offices; by including factsheets in the Tenant Sign up Pack; and by a prominent article in the quarterly tenant’s newsletter.
Antisocial behaviour is behaviour which disturbs the peace, comfort or privacy of other tenants or neighbours or the surrounding community which results in a breach of the tenancy agreement under the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.
What is regarded as acceptable behaviour may vary according to local culture and practice and the degree of tolerance of difference in various locations across our region. This policy categorises antisocial behaviour into three categories outlined in section 4.3 of this policy.
Early intervention practices and referral to support services where appropriate can minimise the escalation of neighbourhood conflict. Homes North will work with tenants and other household members to seek referral services to assist tenants maintain their tenancies. In the case of antisocial behaviour involving young people Homes North will discuss referral to diversionary youth services with parents or relevant householders if services are available.
Homes North will encourage residents to try to resolve problems with other residents themselves, such as through discussion with their neighbour or with the assistance of mediation services. Homes North will refer residents to the Community Justice Centre for assistance when and where appropriate and if the parties agree to attend. Homes North will not act as an advocate or third party in such disputes.
In general, Homes North will make information available to all residents about how to be a good neighbour and seek to build positive relationships through mutual understanding and acceptance.
Homes North defines antisocial behaviour in the following three categories:
Homes North will work with all tenants to:
Any reasonable suspicion that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm will be reported to NSW Family and Community Services – Community Services. When a substantiated breach of the tenancy agreement has occurred and it relates to antisocial behaviour and it is appropriate to take formal action, Homes North may respond as follows:
Homes North will generally apply directly to the NCAT to seek termination of the tenancy after assessing any exceptional mitigating factors. Any action to proceed will be taken only on the approval of the Chief Executive Officer. Homes North will move to investigate allegations of severe illegal behaviour within 5 working days or 24 hours in an emergency. Homes North may seek further information regarding any level of antisocial behaviour allegation from the NSW Police via a Record of Understanding (RoU). Police my also volunteer information under a RoU agreement provisions.
After investigating any mitigating factors Homes North may issue a Notice of Termination followed by an application to the NCAT to seek termination of the tenancy. As with severe cases, all serious cases of antisocial behaviour will require Chief Executive Officer approval prior to action.
Homes North may follow the Strike Notice provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to record strikes against a tenant for breaches of the tenancy agreement. The Strike Notice process clearly establishes for all tenants what type of behaviour is not acceptable and when they are putting their tenancy at risk. A tenancy will be at risk when a tenant repeatedly breaches the terms of their agreement through antisocial behaviour. Homes North will work with all tenants to build positive working relationships and to recognise any mitigating factors in cases of antisocial behaviour.
Homes North will communicate the new Strike Notice provisions to tenants. Strike provisions will only be used after discussion with a Senior Housing Manager and the approval of the Chief Executive Officer. Homes North staff will first issue a warning notice to a tenant after the first substantiated incident of antisocial behaviour, and will generally issue a Strike Notice for subsequent substantiated incidents. Where three strikes have been recorded within a 12 month period, Homes North may make an application to the NCAT to seek termination of the tenancy.
Where a written complaint is received from a Homes North resident in relation to problems being experienced with a non-Homes North resident, Homes North will seek to establish its responsibility as a landlord to intervene in such disputes.
If it is determined that Homes North is unable to or should not intervene, Homes North will further counsel and inform the resident of the avenues available to them, such as:
This policy is subject to change from time to time at the discretion of Homes North.
It is the responsibility of:
Contact Homes North on 67725133 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If a client believes Homes North has made a wrong decision they should ask for a formal review of the decision. To do this, the client needs to complete an Appeals Form stating why they disagree with the decision. Homes North have an Appeals Policy, Appeals Factsheet and Appeals Form.
If the client is dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal appeal process they can proceed to make an appeal to the independent Housing Appeals Committee (HAC). Homes North will advise the client how to lodge an appeal with HAC. Alternatively, they may access the HAC website or free call on 1800 629 794. The HAC is an independent appeals agency for all NSW community housing clients.
Standard 1.2 – Establishing and Maintaining Tenancies
Policy no: 1.2.1\3
Adopted: March 2017