Relocating tenants for management purposes
Last published 06 May 2021
From time to time the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Housing can ask tenants to move from their home to another social housing property. We refer to this process as relocating tenants for management purposes.
Why does DCJ Housing ask tenants to move?
We may ask you to move for reasons connected with your property, for example, we need to sell or redevelop it, or for reasons connected with your tenancy, for example, the property you are living in is now too big for your household.
How does the relocation process work?
Your Client Service Officer or a specialist Relocation Officer will work with you and your family to determine your housing needs and keep you up to date with what is happening.
We will do the following:
- advise you that you are being relocated and give you a general timeframe for your move
- interview you so that we understand your housing needs
- assess your housing needs
- issue an individual relocation statement that sets out your housing and location entitlements
- find suitable alternative housing that meets your needs.
During this process, we also discuss:
- any special considerations
- relocation or reimbursement of improvements or fixtures you have made to your current property
- any other issues.
DCJ will assess each tenant’s situation on a case by case basis and make a decision based on your individual circumstances.
How will I know what my entitlements are?
Whenever possible, we will request the relocation needs interview to be carried out at the tenant’s property. This will help in identifying client housing needs/supports (for example property modifications) and identify any property alterations eligible for reimbursement. Following our interview and assessment we will send you a written Relocation Statement confirming:
- the type and size of the property you will be offered, including the number of bedrooms
- the location you are approved to move to
- the number of offers you will receive
- other information about the relocation process, for example, the type and length of lease you will be offered when you move and your entitlement to a rent subsidy
- any agreed home improvements.
What happens if my circumstances change?
You must tell us about any changes in your circumstances as soon as possible, even if you think that the change may not affect anything. Any change could affect the housing we offer you and the time it takes to move you.
How many offers will I receive?
Most tenants will get two (2) offers of alternative housing. However, in some cases only one (1) offer will be made.
Tenants who are being relocated for portfolio management purposes, for example because the property is being sold or redeveloped, will receive up to two offers of housing.
- If you reject the first offer, you can request a review of the offer to make sure that it was reasonable and met all of the housing entitlements set out in your relocation statement. If we determine the first offer was reasonable, DCJ Housing will send the details to the Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) for an accelerated appeal. You must have consented to this.
- If the HAC determine the offer was reasonable, you will receive one further offer of housing.
- If the HAC determine the offer was not reasonable, it will not count as an offer and you will still be eligible to receive up to two offers of housing.
- The second offer of housing will be your final offer and we will issue you with a Notice of Intention to Issue a Notice of Termination at the same time. If you reject this final offer, you can request that we review the decision under Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to issue a Notice of Termination.
- After the review, DCJ Housing will send the details to the HAC for an accelerated review of the decision, regardless of the recommendation made by the reviewing officer. You must have consented to this.
- If the HAC does not agree with the decision to terminate the tenancy, you will receive one further offer of housing.
- If the HAC does agree with the decision to terminate, you will be issued with a Notice of Termination.
For more information regarding what you can do if you receive a Notice of Termination, refer to our NCAT (NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal) fact sheet.
Tenants who are being relocated for any other management purposes will usually receive two offers of housing. However, one offer will be made if the need to achieve DCJ’s broader outcomes outweighs the desire to make two offers.
For more information regarding examples of relocations for tenancy management purposes, refer to the relocation section of our Tenancy policy Supplement. For more information on offers, refer to the Social housing offers fact sheet.
How long will it take to relocate me?
In some cases, the move will only take a short time, but in other cases the move could take quite a few months. The time it takes to move you will depend on the type of relocation and the availability of properties that match your requirements.
What happens if I reject all offers of alternative housing?
If you reject all reasonable offers of alternative housing, we will give you notice that we intend to take action through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to terminate your tenancy. For more information what you can do if you receive a Notice of Termination, refer to our NCAT fact sheet.
A Vacant Bedroom Charge on the grounds of under occupancy will be applied to DCJ tenants listed for relocation on the NSW Housing Register who refuse outright to relocate or reject two reasonable offers of alternative housing. Under occupancy is when a tenant has more bedrooms than they are entitled to for their household size.
For more information please see the Vacant bedroom charge fact sheet.
What if I don’t agree with a decision?
You cannot appeal our decision to move you or the decision by DCJ Housing to apply the Vacant Bedroom Charge.
You can appeal whether the first offer of alternative housing is reasonable. For second offers, or offers made under Section 149 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, you can request a review of the decision to terminate the tenancy. If you disagree with the decision to terminate the tenancy, or any decision DCJ Housing made throughout the relocation process, you can request a formal review when you receive a notice of intention to issue a notice of termination.
Tenants being relocated because the property has been identified for sale or redevelopment can appeal the reasonableness of a first offer; and can request a review under Section 149 of the decision to terminate the tenancy (generally the second offer).
To do this fill in the Application for Review of Decision – Section 149 Residential Tenancies Act 2010 available online or at your local DCJ Housing office.
Where can I get advice and advocacy services?
Please contact your local tenants' advice and advocacy service. Their details are on tenants.org.au. Alternatively, on Mondays phone the Tenants Union Advice Line: 10:00 am -1:00pm and 2:00pm - 5:00pm on 1800 251 101.
You can also contact NSW Fair Trading at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or on 133 220 for advisory services.