Tenant's rights and responsibilities
Last published 12 Dec 2017
Complying with your tenancy agreement
The tenancy agreement you signed before moving into your home is a legal document that sets out the legal rights and responsibilities between a tenant and Family and Community Services (FACS) Housing.
Tenants and FACS Housing also have to comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.
As the tenant, you are responsible for household members and any visitors to your home. If their actions or behaviour breach your tenancy agreement or the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, the result could be the ending of your tenancy.
Being a FACS Housing tenant means you are part of a larger community, living together with people and families from different backgrounds and cultures. Everyone needs to work together to ensure the community is a harmonious environment.
You have certain rights that FACS Housing will ensure are respected.
- You are treated fairly and respectfully in all decisions and dealings with FACS Housing.
- You are informed of all decisions that FACS Housing makes about your tenancy, including rent, reviews, applications for additional occupants, relocations and transfers.
- FACS Housing explains your tenancy to you, including how much rent you will pay and whether you are eligible for a subsidy
- You are given copies of all documents that you need for your tenancy.
- FACS Housing policies and processes are clearly explained to you when necessary
- You can ask for an interpreter if you need one. You can also ask for someone to act on your behalf (known as an advocate).
- FACS Housing makes sure your home is reasonably clean when you move in and arranges for appropriate repairs and maintenance during your tenancy.
- Your home has adequate security and a working smoke alarm.
- FACS Housing will visit your home with your permission and within the terms of your tenancy agreement.
- FACS Housing may enter your property in emergencies, to do urgent repairs, check smoke alarms and address health and safety issues. Where possible, we will seek your consent first.
- You can keep pets as long as they are suitable for your home, not a restricted breed, and not a nuisance to neighbours nor a health hazard.
- FACS Housing fulfils its obligations to refer child protection issues to the appropriate authorities.
- You have the right to enjoy your home peacefully.
- FACS Housing gives you the required notice of a breach of your tenancy agreement.
- FACS Housing gives you notice to vacate if your tenancy is to end.
- You are able to ask for reviews through FACS Housing’s appeals process and the Housing Appeals Committee.
- You are able to raise any issues you have with your local office and through FACS Housing’s client feedback system.
- Under some circumstances, you are able to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
When you live as part of a community and as a FACS Housing tenant, you have certain responsibilities for your behaviour and how you look after your home.
- You meet all your payment responsibilities, including paying your rent and water usage charges on time, and you pay money owing from previous FACS Housing tenancies.
- You clean and maintain your property to a reasonable standard, including the gardens, and ensure that no damage is done (by you, your household members or visitors).
- You ensure your family and visitors behave in acceptable ways.
- You pay for electricity and gas.
- You personally occupy the premises. It is not enough just to pay rent for the property. FACS Housing properties are a scarce resource and we need to ensure we are providing for people most in need.
- You tell FACS Housing within 28 days about any change in your circumstances, such as employment, the number of people in your household and total income.
- You notify FACS Housing as soon as possible if any repairs are needed.
- You ask FACS Housing for permission before making changes to your property
- You look after the security of the property, including advising FACS Housing if there are any issues with your smoke alarms.
- You check with FACS Housing that your pet is suitable for your home and make sure your pets are not a nuisance to neighbours
- You treat all FACS Housing staff fairly and respectfully in all your dealings with us.
- You cooperate with neighbours and, if possible, settle any disputes by talking with your neighbours.
- You maintain a good community spirit by respecting your community’s right to peace.
- You cooperate with FACS Housing if you need to be moved to alternative accommodation.
- When moving out, you ensure that the property is left as you found it and all outstanding payments are paid. If you are on a fixed-term tenancy, you need to give 14 days’ notice that you are moving (21 days if you are not on a fixed-term tenancy).
- If your tenancy is terminated by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), you comply with the orders, hand the keys back and leave the property as you found it.
What to do if FACS Housing has breached the Tenancy Agreement?
If you believe that FACS Housing has breached a section of your Tenancy Agreement or the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, you should contact your local FACS Housing office to discuss the problem. You can also contact Tenants NSW for advice and advocacy services. You can contact Tenants NSW by calling 8117 3750.
NSW Fair Trading, also offers an advisory service. You can contact Fair Trading by calling 13 32 20.
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal
You can lodge an application with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) if you believe that FACS Housing has breached the tenancy agreement or the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. The NCAT website provides information and advice about the service. You can also make enquiries by calling 1300 006 228.
FACS Housing may also make an application to the NCAT if you have breached your tenancy agreement. FACS Housing views breaches very seriously, however, we will always give you the opportunity to rectify a breach before action is taken through the NCAT. For more information on the NCAT, please see our NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal factsheet.
Appeals and reviewing decisions
If you believe FACS Housing has made a wrong decision and the matter does not relate to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, you should first discuss your concerns with a client service officer. You may also ask to have the decision reviewed by filling in the Application for review of decisions form available at your local FACS Housing office or at our website.
The Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) can undertake second tier appeals of decisions made by FACS Housing and community housing providers. The HAC website provides information on how to make appeals. HAC can also be contacted by phone on 1800 629 794. For further information, please see the Appeals and reviewing decisions factsheet.