Liberal Government implements stronger and swifter response to anti-social public housing tenant behaviour

02 Apr 2019 newsmedia

Public housing tenants who engage in antisocial behaviour face a stronger and swifter response under changes introduced by the Liberal Government, effective from today.

The new SA Housing Authority policy makes it clear what anti-social behaviours are unacceptable from tenants.

Under the new policy, the small number of Housing SA tenants who engage in serious and ongoing anti-social behaviour will come under greater scrutiny, get fewer warnings and face eviction if they do not improve their behaviour.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink took the opportunity to stress the majority of Housing SA tenants were respectful.

“The vast majority of public housing tenants do the right thing, maintain their property, pay their rent and are respectful of their neighbours,” said Minister Lensink.

“However, there continues to be a small number who engage in serious and on-going, antisocial behaviour."

“Serious anti-social behaviour includes things like illegal activity on properties such as cultivating prohibited drugs and assaulting neighbours or Housing SA staff or contractors, or damaging a property leaving it uninhabitable."

“This behaviour is not acceptable and is particularly frustrating when we know there are many people who could benefit from secure public housing, yet a small minority abuse the privilege of being a public housing tenant.”

The changes include:

• Tenants will receive a maximum of three warnings (one verbal and two written) before the Authority considers seeking eviction through the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).

• Previously, tenants received up to seven warnings before action was taken

• In cases where ongoing and serious antisocial behaviour or illegal activity is established, eviction may be pursued immediately

• Staff will focus more on serious complaints such as threats or intimidation, and redirect more minor complaints, such as noise, to appropriate authorities

• Acceptable standards of behaviour and accountability will be more clearlycommunicated to tenants who engage in antisocial behaviour