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What's changed 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.

Legislation

The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and the Housing Act 2001 have been amended to allow FACS to terminate public housing tenancies for antisocial and criminal behaviour and other purposes.

Policy

A new Antisocial Behaviour Management policy has been developed which tenants should make themselves aware of.

Strikes policies

FACS can issue strike notices to tenants engaging in antisocial behaviour such as playing loud music or hosting wild parties. Tenants who receive three strikes for antisocial behaviour within 12 months may face eviction.

If a tenant engages in severe illegal behaviour – such as serious drug crimes or storing an unlicensed firearm -  FACS can apply directly to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal which will have less discretion to stop the tenant being evicted.

A community voice in the Tribunal

Tenants, neighbours and the community can have a voice in the Tribunal with the introduction of Neighbourhood Impact Statements. Neighbours will have the opportunity to contribute to a Statement which will help the Tribunal understand how a tenant’s antisocial behaviour has affected them and the broader community.

Probationary leases

Twelve-month probationary leases were introduced for most new tenants. Probationary leases set expectations of tenants from the start of their tenancy to pay rent, show respect for neighbours and meet the other conditions of their lease.

Background to the changes

Tenants have asked for safer communities

In a recent survey conducted with social housing tenants across NSW, 78% think that antisocial behaviour is a problem and 51% reported that they had experienced it.

Additional feedback was provided as part of the responses to the NSW Government Discussion Paper on Social Housing in NSW, where antisocial behaviour was raised as an issue:

Some housing areas have stressful environments, which, even if tenants are doing their best to live less stressful lives, their environments add to their demise. People need peace in their homes and to be able to rest. The Victorian ‘three strikes’ policy mentioned in the current discussion paper is worth considering.
Written submission, Social Housing Resident
No one wants to live in places that are known for dangerous, anti-social behaviour.
Participant, District Consultation – Coffs Harbour

We’ve listened to what tenants and the community have said and we’re committed to addressing this issue. The new laws make social housing communities safer by providing clearer rules to manage incidents of antisocial behaviour by social housing tenants.

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