The purpose of this document is to explain the policy for Tenant Repair Costs This includes social housing, affordable housing, and transitional housing.
The intent of this policy is to identify liability for damage to a property in which Housing Plus, determines the tenant is responsible for and the associated cost of repairs. This is done in a way that is procedurally fair for the tenant and the landlord.
Housing Plus will start a tenancy in accordance with:
Both the client and Housing Plus have rights and obligations under the above Acts, the residential tenancy agreement and this policy.
Term: Tenancy Agreement
Definition: The Residential Tenancies Act 2010(NSW) (the RT Act 2010) defines a residential tenancy agreement as ‘an agreement under which a person grants to another person for value a right of occupation of residential premises for the purpose of use as a residence’ (section 13(1)).
Term: Market Rent
Definition: Market rent is the amount of rent that a real estate agent or landlord would charge each week if the property were rented in the private market.
Term: Rent Subsidy
Definition: A rent subsidy is the difference between the market rent and the rent a tenant pays based on their household’s assessable income and rent assessment rules.
Tenants are expected to take good care of their premises and to take responsibility for property damage other than that caused by fair wear and tear and criminal activity or damage caused by a third party. A third party is someone that is not living in or invited into the property.
Where it is determined that the tenant is responsible for damage to the premises, and a Housing Plus maintenance contractor repairs the damage, Housing Plus will recover the cost of the repairs from the tenant. These are Tenant Repair Costs.
Housing Plus will charge the Tenant Repair Costs to the tenant if the tenant has accepted liability or Housing Plus has sufficient evidence of the tenant’s responsibility for the damage. The tenant has the right to accept or dispute liability for Tenant Repair Costs. If the tenant disputes liability Housing Plus will suspend the cost recovery process and review the decision to charge the tenant.
Housing Plus expects the tenant to:
The tenant can expect Housing Plus:
To determine who is responsible for the cost of repairing damage to the property Housing Plus will:
In circumstances of criminal activity or damage caused by a third party the tenant is requested to provide evidence that they have reported the matter to the NSW Police, such as a Police statement.
Tenant Repair Cost that are the tenant’s responsibility include:
If Housing Plus considers the tenant responsible for Tenant Repair Costs, a letter will be sent to the tenant stating:
Where Housing Plus has sufficient evidence of repeat or serious incidents of tenant- responsible damage, Housing Plus will immediately take action before the NCAT to obtain a specific performance order. In certain circumstances, Housing Plus will take action to end the tenancy.
Housing Plus categorises tenant damage in various ways, including:
WorkCover NSW and NSW Health advices that living in a home built with asbestos-cement building products is not considered a health risk.
Asbestos-cement can be a health risk if asbestos fibres become airborne and are inhaled. This can happen when asbestos-cement building products are broken, sanded, drilled or disturbed in any way that results in airborne asbestos fibres. If a tenant damages their property that has material containing asbestos, they could potentially disturb the asbestos. For example if a tenant damages a wall that has asbestos material in it.
Where there is evidence that a tenant has damaged their property, Housing Plus will pursue Tenant Damage Charges in relation to the costs involved in replacing the structure that had asbestos in it but not the costs associated with safely removing the asbestos.
Before vacating, the tenant must restore the premises to the condition it was in at the start of the tenancy, allowing for fair wear and tear. This includes the removal of any additions the tenant may have installed, cleaning, rubbish removal and the non-abandonment of goods, including furniture and vehicles. Before vacating, Housing Plus will make a concerted effort to complete a final inspection with the tenant and complete a final Property Condition Report. This will establish whether there is any unrepaired damage and will enable the tenant and Housing Plus to agree on who is responsible for the damage.
Once the tenant has returned the keys to Housing Plus and provided vacant possession Housing Plus will complete an Outgoing Inspection within two business days. The tenant is no longer responsible for damage that occurs after that the keys have been returned. It is the tenant who is responsible for returning the keys to Housing Plus, not the neighbours or another third party.
If the tenant abandons the premises or fails to return the keys, Housing Plus will obtain possession of the premises and assess its condition. If Housing Plus obtains sufficient evidence that the tenant is responsible for damage that goes beyond fair wear and tear, or end of tenancy cleaning that is required, Housing Plus will take action as appropriate before the NCAT or the local court to recover from the tenant the cost of repairing the damage. This includes removal of any goods that remain on the premises or the removal of any additions that the tenant may have installed.
Updated – November 2018
Housing Plus is a progressive social enterprise that re-invests ALL profits back into improving social outcomes for individuals and communities in regional NSW. Housing Plus is a registered not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, and is a Tier 1 accredited community housing provider.
Suite 8, Level 2, 113 Byng Street
Orange NSW 2800
PO Box 968 ORANGE NSW 2800
Phone: 1800 603 300
Fax: (02) 6361 1609