The purpose of this document is to explain the policy for Transfers for Housing Tenants.
Where a social housing tenant requests a transfer, common eligibility criteria applies, although the tenant can choose:
Once a tenant is approved for a transfer, Housing Plus will place them on the NSW Housing Register. Housing Plus, FACS and other community housing providers participating in Housing Pathways use this register to offer housing when a property which matches the household’s needs becomes available in the social housing sector.
When a social housing tenant approved for a transfer is offered alternative housing, their length of lease and other entitlements will be based on the policies of the provider who has offered the housing.
Where a client applies for tenancy reinstatement, the provider that previously housed the tenant will be responsible for assessing the application, and, if approved, housing the client (unless the original housing provider negotiates a housing agreement with an alternative provider).
Housing Plus will provide Transfers in accordance with:
Both the tenant and Housing Plus have rights and obligations under the above Act, the residential tenancy agreement and Housing Plus policies.
If a Housing Plus tenant has a change in their circumstances that affects their housing needs, they can request to transfer to another property managed by either Housing Plus or another social housing provider participating in Housing Pathways. This is called a tenant initiated transfer.
This policy explains the criteria applied by Housing Plus and by other social housing providers participating in Housing Pathways, when assessing a tenant initiated request for transfer to a:
Community housing tenants can apply for a transfer to another property if a change in their circumstances makes their existing property or location no longer suitable. When a tenant applies for a transfer, they must:
In circumstances where a Housing Plus tenant meets the transfer assessment criteria on more than one of the above grounds, approval will be given on the principal ground at the time of assessment.
When Housing Plus approves a client for transfer, the provider will place the client on the NSW Housing Register as either a wait turn or priority transfer. Tenant transfers on the following grounds will be listed as priority transfers:
Housing Pathways has a number of high demand allocation areas. Social housing providers will assess a request to transfer to one of these areas against specific criteria, called a locational needs assessment, if the tenant is applying to transfer to a high demand area.
A tenant can apply for a transfer even if they owe money on their tenancy accounts, including money owed from a former tenancy. However, a social housing provider will not make an offer of alternative housing until the tenant’s current tenancy accounts are up to date, or, if the tenant owes money from former tenancies, they have completely repaid the debt. Exceptions may apply if the tenant’s household can demonstrate an urgent need for transfer.
Following the approval of a priority transfer application social housing providers will also undertake an assessment of the urgency of the tenant’s need to move out of their current property or location.
This assessment will generally occur in two situations:
If there is sufficient risk to the tenant or members of their household, Housing Plus will give transfer applicants the same priority on the NSW Housing Register as priority housing applicants.
Tenants of Housing Plus managed properties approved for a transfer on the grounds of under-occupancy will be given the same priority as priority housing applicants on the HSW Housing Register.
To ensure that a transfer application continues to reflect the tenant’s current housing situation, Housing Plus will coordinate the review of priority transfer applications:
Following a review, Housing Plus may change the priority of an approved transfer to take account of any differences in the level of urgency of the tenant’s circumstances. Housing Plus will close a tenant’s transfer application if they no longer meet the eligibility criteria for a transfer.
Generally, tenants who have been approved for a transfer will receive two reasonable offers of alternative accommodation. If a Housing Plus tenant rejects two reasonable offers, Housing Plus will remove their name from the NSW Housing Register.
Where Housing Plus transfers a tenant to an alternative property managed by a different housing provider, the tenant will be offered a type and length of lease in accordance with the individual provider’s policy.
Where Housing Plus transfers a tenant to an alternative property managed by a different housing provider, the tenant’s rent payable will be assessed in accordance with the individual provider’s policy.
The personal safety and/or mental health of a tenant or a household member is at risk. These situations include but are not limited to:
Tenants need to show that:
Housing Plus will expect the tenant to provide current supporting documentation, substantiating the risk they are exposed to. This may include:
This evidence will be compared against the tenants initial application and circumstances.
Tenants are considered to be under-occupying in a property when there are more bedrooms than the household needs. It is usually the result of household members moving out of the property.
When a tenant requests a transfer because they are under-occupying their property, housing providers will:
Housing Plus will review the number of approved household members living in the property compared to the number of bedrooms in the property to determine if a tenant is underoccupying. Tenants may be asked to substantiate additional occupants. If a tenant does not apply for permission for an additional occupant to stay, Housing Plus will consider that person to be an unauthorised occupant.
In relation to the medical condition and/or disability of a tenant or household member, tenants will need to show that:
Housing Plus will expect the tenant to substantiate the medical condition and/or disability.
This may include reports from:
Harassment refers to a wide range of offensive behaviour. It refers to unacceptable behaviours that are threatening or disturbing. Harassment includes:
Tenants will need to show that:
The tenant will need to substantiate their claim of harassment by providing documentation such as:
A tenant can apply for a priority transfer due to the tenant or their partner gaining employment, or changes to the tenant’s or partner’s current employment. A tenant must show that the:
The tenant will need to establish the need to move for employment reasons by providing documentation such as:
There are a number of compassionate grounds Housing Plus will consider. These include:
Tenants will be asked to:
The tenant will need to prove their need for a transfer by providing current documentation such as a:
Severe overcrowding may arise as the result of:
Severe overcrowding includes:
Severe overcrowding can also occur if children currently sharing a bedroom now need their own bedroom because of a specific need such as:
The tenant will need to prove that severe overcrowding exists and the reasons for it by providing current documentation such as:
If there is a serious breakdown in a family relationship, Housing Plus may consider providing separate accommodation for the member who has left the property. A serious breakdown in a household relationship includes:
In the case of divorce or separation the spouse or partner who has moved out will need to prove that:
In the case of a family breakdown the child or parent of the tenant will need to prove that:
If a tenant is prohibited from having access to a Housing Plus property under a Final Apprehended Violence Order (excluding an interim AVO), the client can submit an application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal under Section 79 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to have the tenancy transferred to them, provided they are eligible for social housing.
The tenant will need to confirm the family breakdown by providing supporting documents such as:
Tenancy reinstatement can apply to former tenants who vacated their property because:
To be eligible for tenancy reinstatement, former tenants must prove that:
Former tenants with custodial sentences longer than three years will need to re-apply for housing as they are not eligible for tenancy re-instatement.
Housing Plus defines duress as having to vacate the property due to a critical incident and, under the circumstances, the decision to vacate was reasonable.
Admittance to a supported care facility might include a refuge, rehabilitation centre, hospital, or respite centre.
Tenants may need to vacate their property due to:
When assessing the decision to vacate the property, Housing Plus will consider the following as applicable to particular situations:
The tenant will need to substantiate their reason to vacate the dwelling without giving notice to Housing Plus. That is, they will need to prove that they vacated under duress or to move to a residential care or custodial facility.
The evidence the tenant must supply will be dependent upon the reason they vacated the property. If, for example, a tenant vacated without notice due to having been at risk, they will be required to supply supporting documentation as stated in the evidence criteria for at risk priority transfers.
If a tenant vacated without notice due to harassment, they will be required to supply supporting documentation as stated in the evidence criteria for harassment.
Moderate overcrowding is when there is an increase in the size of the household which results in the household having fewer bedrooms than they would otherwise be entitled to, but the overcrowding is not severe.
Examples of moderate overcrowding are:
Aboriginal tenants may seek a transfer when wanting to take up their entitlement to an extra bedroom to meet family responsibilities.
The tenant will need to substantiate the moderate overcrowding by producing documents indicating the:
Where a client, or a member of their household needs safe and secure accommodation to have a child returned from out-of-home care or to help prevent children from entering out-ofhome care, They must demonstrate that a priority housing status is required to meet the needs of a child.
Housing Plus will expect the client to substantiate their property is not able to provide safe and secure accommodation to have a child returned from out-of-home care, or to help prevent children from entering out-of-home care . This may include:
Additionally, if the tenant is seeking a transfer to take up additional entitlements for Aboriginal people, the tenant will need to confirm their Aboriginality, if they have not already done so.
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