Stronger focus on disruptive tenants for Housing SA
Housing SA will be strengthening its focus on managing disruptive tenants, as part of moves to improve the organisation's response to disputes between neighbours.
Minister for Social Housing Tony Piccolo said the new policy was aimed at resolving complaints about disruptive tenants quickly and more effectively.
"Every South Australian has the right to live in safe, secure accommodation and, as a landlord responsible for managing more than 40-thousand properties around the state, Housing SA has an important role to play here," Mr Piccolo said.
"Changes to our disruptive tenants policy are designed to try and improve Housing SA's response to these issues, and ensure the rights of tenants are protected.
"Under this program, each metropolitan Housing SA office will have a dedicated specialist staff member responsible for dealing with complaints about disruptive tenants.
"They will be the single point of contact in managing these issues – ensuring there's consistency in the response and that these matters are handled sensitively and appropriately."
Mr Piccolo said people lodging complaints will be contacted by the specialist within two days, to discuss their concerns and will receive information about the outcome of their complaint.
"Putting specialists in place will mean disruptive tenants will be contacted earlier, receive appropriate follow up and be connected to the services and supports they require to help maintain their tenancy," he said.
"This holistic approach will give tenants and their neighbours the opportunity, information, advice and support they need to contribute positively to their community.
"While there is a focus on early intervention and mediation, there may be cases where the specialist staff will be unable to resolve these disputes.
"In those cases, Housing SA will seek to expedite the matter through the Residential Tenancies Tribunal which could result in a tenant being either relocated or evicted."
In addition to the specialists, Housing SA is increasing responsiveness to disruptive tenant complaints by:
- introducing an online complaint form to make reporting a complaint easier;
- delivering education programs on good neighbour principles; and
- reviewing information sharing protocols with partner agencies such as Families SA, SA Health and SA Police.
Minister Piccolo said the online form would allow concerns with disruption to be reported at any time.
"Disruptive behaviour can include excessive noise, vandalism or threating behaviour," Mr Piccolo said.
"It is important that all neighbours respect each other's right to privacy, peace and comfort in their homes.
"If a neighbour's behaviour becomes disruptive, it should be reported to the homeowner, landlord, or in serious circumstances, to South Australia Police."
Mr Piccolo said the new policy would be reviewed within three months to determine its effectiveness and whether any changes are required.
Concerns with disruptive tenants can be made online by visiting www.sa.gov.au/housingsacustomer and clicking on the link to the disruptive tenant report, by telephone on 131 299, in person at a Housing SA office, or by emailing DCSIhousing@dcsi.sa.gov.au.