In Legal Affairs

Western Australia Minister for Housing Bill Marmion

Government Action On Disruptive Tenants

Victor P Taffa

  • State Govt increases case management staff to deal with disruptive tenants
  • Department of Housing inducts an extra 35 case managers

The State Government has delivered on a promise to clamp down on disruptive tenants in public housing.

Housing Minister Bill Marmion said the Government had expanded the Department of Housing’s Disruptive Behaviour Management Unit by recruiting 35 new case management staff.

The staff was inducted today and will soon fill positions in metropolitan and country areas.

Mr. Marmion said the new staff represented the latest initiative to manage disruptive tenants.

The Disruptive Behaviour Management Strategy was revised in May 2011 to strengthen and streamline policy and procedures to deal with tenants who caused problems.

The Minister said the department had processed more than 26,000 complaints against tenants under the new strategy.

“The department manages almost 40,000 dwellings and the vast majority of our tenants are great, but we take very seriously our responsibility to ensure that when our tenants step out of line we act as quickly as possible, and these extra staff will help us do this.” Mr. Marmion said.

“Our tenants have rights but also have responsibilities. It is very simple we expect three things of our tenants get on with their neighbours, look after the property and pay the rent.”

“We balance the rights of neighbours to enjoy their property in peace, with the rights of our tenants. Evicting a family is a very serious business and can only happen on the basis of substantiated facts. In most cases it comes down to a decision by a magistrate.”

Under the revised strategy, sanctions against tenants are based on the severity and frequency of proven disturbances. If the behaviour is deemed dangerous, immediate action is taken to terminate the tenancy.

If deemed ‘serious’, a first and final warning is given, another incident of similar severity within 12 months will lead to legal proceedings. Minor behaviour, such as excessive noise, will result in a first strike. Three strikes within a 12-month period will lead to legal action.

“Changes by the Liberal National Government to the Residential Tenancy Act have made it easier for the department to act quickly if there is a problem, and I expect them to do so.” Mr. Marmion said.

“If you want to make a complaint about a disruptive tenant, I urge you to call the dedicated Disruptive Behaviour Reporting line on 1300 597 076.”

Fact File

  • As at April 30, 2013, the following was completed under the department’s Disruptive Behaviour Management Strategy:
  • Total Disruptive Behaviour Reporting System complaints: 26,212
  • April 2013 – Disruptive Behaviour Reporting System complaints: 1,372
  • Total first strikes issued: 1,705
  • Total second strikes issued: 670
  • Total third strikes issued: 234
  • Total tenancies terminated as direct result of disruptive behaviour: 105
  • The decision to end a tenancy can also be a combination of issues related to standards, debt, non-occupation and abandonment. As at April 30, 2013, 118 tenancies were vacated on these grounds where a maximum number of strikes had been concurrently issued or dangerous behaviour had occurred
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