30 April 2010

DHCS Housing - Do they have a duty of care?

| SoDumbItHurts
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As a tenant of housing I am curious do they have a duty of care as landlords to their tenants. If a tennant is a constant victim of verbal and physical abuse, that has escalated from AVO’s to now criminal charge, and I will add with the area managers full knowledge, does the department have a duty to the tenant that is the victim.

If not why?

They are still regardless of being a department, still renting out a property which requires us as tenants to abide by codes and regulations.

What makes them exempt?

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PS: DHCS use the exucse of WE CANT UNDER STAND

DHCS only accept approved legal forms filled in by a professional (costing many $$$ – they use it as a bar to refuse doing anything even when saying they are looking into things)

The only thing DHCS looks at is how to remove its liability and how they could claim that your a nut

Been there and done that too. Seems all people must attend one of the Union staffed shop fronts and get the letter stamped as being recived.

There is http://www.acat.act.gov.au – but I would advise getting a legal eagle as even ACAT order that tenants be exposed to violent drunken assaults funded by the landlord

One

I know DHCS lie, as I’ve been on the other, eg; regarding a letter my daughter and myself sent to Maureen Sheehan, she never recieved it, as I spoke to a “Rhonda” she said the letter was in the file and had not been passed on, she also told me it was serious, of course I ran housing again, they denied ever having the letter or that a Rhonda ever worked there, I will expose them.

All I can say is Get legal advise if unsure – I know I am screwed and will be homeless because of DHCS policy and drunks

How to avoid tenant report of assault for a pay rise 101:

Get assaulted by a ‘drunk’ that is able to block access and make voilent threats

DHCS will then assist you in getting a bit of paper that only says that YOUR moving out on the STANDARD TRANSFER LIST because DHCS likes drunks for the good it does the public (only 20 years wait – aka never)

Nothing about how they let ‘drunks’ block the access way while drinking execive amounts of grog on the grog shops account

Then because of you being assaulted once you will then be the target of further assaults simply because you made a complaint to DHCS

DHCS will say they put you on the HIGH NEEDS TRANSFER list (only 10 years of continued assaults with each drunk taking a turn – some even get food to help buy more grog)

To aid in failure of reporting true condition of the property as a getto – the inspection changes to a PRE VACATION where ONLY the DHCS OFFICER CAN REPORT ISSUES (aka they write you a bill)

This allows the DHCS officers to avoid reporting the preventing of access or fault causing undew interfearences to access

2 years later DHCS officers will then attempt to get a STANDARD INSPECTION

Even going as far to say that you have prevented INSPECTION while knowing the bastard act they just pulled to avoid liability

“Extortion means forcing someone to do something, usually give up something valuable under threats of injury, death or other illegal harm. Blackmail means specifically obtaining something of value under the threat to disclose something shameful or disreputable about a person. This can be true even if it would not have been illegal to simply make the reputation-damaging information public”

(Source: freeadvise dot com)

CT, think thats it.. its worse than that – Secret payments are made to select people who distribute the funding though groups of violent druggies for amounts up to $1k after dobbing in others that dont pay up a ransom or play the game needed for protection

Helps keeps the peace

Like grog shops that sell grog on account to people who cant even walk to the shop because they are intoxicated

oh wise one.. lol

far from

wise people are not dead

PS: When was the last time a drunk attempted to kill you? Did you take care not to harm the drunk becaues your required to do so by ACT Government laws? How about after being kicked in the head?

Good thing drunks are educated to SAY – oh i may be intoxicated

AFP media – “Its not your fault mate”

dare2dream said :

Oh wise One – ‘the landlord taking secret bribes/plus staff who get paid for making complaints go away…’

Are you suggesting corruption?

Does the term of “Secret donations” answer your questions.

Parties accept donations
Ministers have membership in parties
Ministers write regulation and set payrises for lack of bad news
officers enforce and enable regulation compliance of looking the other way

Then tack on the point where some in the community are able to act as reporters to authorities for secret payments while the same community members are assaulting and evicting people from tenancies.

Oh wise One – ‘the landlord taking secret bribes/plus staff who get paid for making complaints go away…’

Are you suggesting corruption?

Further to what “One” has to say – recall that Ian Hirst eventually struck back at the violent druggies that used to plague his area of public housing and did the cops thank him for removinga junkie scuzz-bucket from society?
Nope. They tried to do Ian for murder.
And failed.

It seems if you’re a criminal scuzz-bucket the government will bend over backwards in every conceivable way to prevent anybody from impinging on your “right” to lead a life of crime.

PS: Suggest looking at clause 50

The landlord causes…

And compair with

The landlord taking secret bribes

Plus staff who get paid for making complaints go away…

No point in talking the DHCS Housing.

In 2006 I had my life impeared by a Drunk Tenant that DHCS permitted to drink and be voilent within the access way to my tenancy

In 2008 – after repeated assaults the Department of Housing, ACT Human Rights, and the Discrimination commissioner took court action to prevent future complaints against members of a community room that the landlord funds.

From 2006 to 2010 the same group with landlord funding still attempt assaults with aid of the police who attend but never arrest drunks in public.

Other tenancies and lives have been destroyed by the Stanhope Social Policy of deferal, denyal, and outright lies (I am One of many X $$$$ – would be very interested in class action if anyone is considering such).

Ask your self when was the last time the ACT Government paid out for neglect by its landlord which resulted in death, impairment, or injury?

Amazing what a secret donation does for people that hide behind 247 security for wonders that write laws without them selves being bashed

taninaus said :

there are 2 issues here:
– Does DHCS owe the OP a duty of care because they are getting harrassed by a neighbour – not really – the impact of the other persons behaviour on the tenant is not their business.

With respect, I disagree. A “duty of care” in the legal sense arises if OP is so directly affected by DHCS’ course of action that DHCS ought to have OP’s situation in mind when DHCS is contemplating that course of action.

Here, the course of action is allocating OP to a dwelling. Placing OP next to his/her violent neighbour or persisting in allowing that neighbour to live next to OP – thereby placing OP in danger – would seem to be a pretty clear breach of that duty of care, to me. The AVO and criminal charge should be sufficient proof of that danger to negate any arguments of remoteness.

Ring up complaints and if this does not work write a letter quoting the Disruptive Behaviour Policy, good luck

sodumbithurts

Hi look up DHCS housing = DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOUR POLICY, it covers all.

I would recommend giving the ACT Human Rights Commission a call, which takes complaints from service users. They might be able to follow this up on your behalf and get some movement.

Their phone number is 6205 2222.

Good luck!

DissolutionedHack said :

Inappropriate said :

If my neighbour has a problem with me, it’s not my landlord’s responsibility to resolve.

Thats not right. Under the Tenancy agreement it is understood that:

The tenant has an obligation under the
agreement not to:
• use or allow the property to be used for an illegal
purpose;
• cause or allow nuisance;
• interfere with the quiet enjoyment of neighbours;

breaching these obligations in the agreement gives cause for the landlord issue notice:

A lessor can issue the tenant with a Notice to Vacate if:
• the tenant has breached any term or condition of the residential tenancy
agreement, other than non-payment of rent;.

Whether or not DHCS wants to do this or not is another issue…

You are of course assuming that BOTH tenants are renting govies. If the one causing problems isn’t then of course the tenant obligations don’t apply as the one causing the trouble isn’t a tenant.

DissolutionedHack4:22 pm 30 Apr 10

Mike Crowther said :

This would be the same department that took over ten years to evict one David Harold Eastman from his gubby residence? I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

Of course not – they dont actually ever seem to go after anyone who might be trouble for them, like Eastman or a suspeced dealer or violent tenant – they seem to go for the “easy” pickings – like the elderly or infirm… rather annoying and unjust…

Mike Crowther4:05 pm 30 Apr 10

This would be the same department that took over ten years to evict one David Harold Eastman from his gubby residence? I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

DissolutionedHack3:17 pm 30 Apr 10

bd84 said :

Housing ACT are in a situatio where they cannot just evict someone at a whim as they would be required to rehouse the tenant. They will also not evict someone for something that has not been proven…

Housing most certainly dont evect on a whim, and its not simply a process of them rocking up and telling you to get out… though they most certainly can start the process on even a simgle complain by a tenant or other non-dhcs neighbour. Qute often police procedure has nothing to do with an tenancy agreement breach eviciton. DHCS have to have a pretty robust case though as if it goes to ACAT Housing have a history of getting shot down recently…

there are 2 issues here:
– Does DHCS owe the OP a duty of care because they are getting harrassed by a neighbour – not really – the impact of the other persons behaviour on the tenant is not their business.
– Should DHCS be doing something about a tenant breaching the tenancy agreement and tenancy legislation by interfering the quiet enjoyment of others around their property – yes that is their business and responsibility.
DHCS may have done something to warn the neighbour about their behaviour and need to comply with the tenancy agreement but the OP wouldn’t necessarily be told about that because of privacy legislation. They may also be taking the neighbour to court to evict them but you wouldn’t know until the moving vans turn up.
DHCS tenants include those who need social housing b/c that is about all they are able to get the Govt isn’t going to kick these people out lightly.
But, if you sit quietly nothing will happen – DH’s suggestion re welfare rights is a good one and also keep letting DHCS know of the problems so they have the info to act on.

The cul-de-sac behind our street is all DHCS properties. One place has been used as a halfway house. In Feb the violent, sh!^ stirring, heavy drinking, abusive tennant stabbed his neighbour so the other tennants in the street gave DHCS an ultimatum – either he goes or they stop paying rent. The dodgy bloke’s stuff was removed that week. Apparently he’s out on bail – and now another suburb’s problem.

DissolutionedHack said :

DHCS is the landlord of both parties, and has been informed of the issue as outlined in the original post. If they’re approached by one tenant in regards to another disruptive tenant they can (it could also be argued that as a signee to the agreement for both tenants as well as well they *should*) enforce the agreement and any breaches of it. I fail to see how its not their problem at all…

Of course its not the landlords job to resolve the conflict – it *is* their job to resolve any breach of tenancy agreement that arises from the conflict – specifically :
• cause or allow nuisance;
• interfere with the quiet enjoyment of neighbours…

You didn’t make it clear that the tenants were both Housing ACT tenants. Housing ACT are in a situatio where they cannot just evict someone at a whim as they would be required to rehouse the tenant. They will also not evict someone for something that has not been proven, a police charge does not automatically indicate guilt, they may have a better chance if the charge is proven and a conviction is recorded. Even then any action taken by housing will not happen over night. Having said that, Housing don’t have a duty of care other than ensuring their property is adequately safe, they aren’t responsible for the tenants safety 24/7.

DissolutionedHack12:15 pm 30 Apr 10

Wraith said :

It would seem after reading this information that Inappropriate’s comments still stand correct.

DHCS is the landlord of both parties, and has been informed of the issue as outlined in the original post. If they’re approached by one tenant in regards to another disruptive tenant they can (it could also be argued that as a signee to the agreement for both tenants as well as well they *should*) enforce the agreement and any breaches of it. I fail to see how its not their problem at all…

Of course its not the landlords job to resolve the conflict – it *is* their job to resolve any breach of tenancy agreement that arises from the conflict – specifically :
• cause or allow nuisance;
• interfere with the quiet enjoyment of neighbours…

DissolutionedHack said :

Inappropriate said :

If my neighbour has a problem with me, it’s not my landlord’s responsibility to resolve.

Thats not right. Under the Tenancy agreement it is understood that:

The tenant has an obligation under the
agreement not to:
• use or allow the property to be used for an illegal
purpose;
• cause or allow nuisance;
• interfere with the quiet enjoyment of neighbours;

breaching these obligations in the agreement gives cause for the landlord issue notice:

A lessor can issue the tenant with a Notice to Vacate if:
• the tenant has breached any term or condition of the residential tenancy
agreement, other than non-payment of rent;.

Whether or not DHCS wants to do this or not is another issue…

It would seem after reading this information that Inappropriate’s comments still stand correct.

DissolutionedHack11:26 am 30 Apr 10

Inappropriate said :

If my neighbour has a problem with me, it’s not my landlord’s responsibility to resolve.

Thats not right. Under the Tenancy agreement it is understood that:

The tenant has an obligation under the
agreement not to:
• use or allow the property to be used for an illegal
purpose;
• cause or allow nuisance;
• interfere with the quiet enjoyment of neighbours;

breaching these obligations in the agreement gives cause for the landlord issue notice:

A lessor can issue the tenant with a Notice to Vacate if:
• the tenant has breached any term or condition of the residential tenancy
agreement, other than non-payment of rent;.

Whether or not DHCS wants to do this or not is another issue…

Inappropriate11:00 am 30 Apr 10

Their duty of care is only to ensure the house is habitable, much the same way as any landlord is responsible for their dwelling.

If my neighbour has a problem with me, it’s not my landlord’s responsibility to resolve.

DissolutionedHack10:19 am 30 Apr 10

I would think that DHCS would most certainly have a duty of care to their tenants, as to how far that extends and whether its outlined in their initial contract with the tenant, or its covered by something else like the corporate rules if its a unit I wouldn’t be sure… t seems easy to find this stuff for NSW, but as per usual much harder for ACT bodies…

Nevertheless – the best place to start would be the Welfare Rights and Legal centre (http://www.welfarerightsact.org) – they provide a free tenancy advice line on 6247 2177 and may be able to offer more help than that if required – good luck!

Yes, they have a duty of care to their tenants but it operates on many levels and is not all embracing.

Their duty of care involves ensuring that the properties they let are safe and are of a habitable standard but it doesn’t go so far as ensuring the tenants are eating well and getting a good night’s sleep.

As to whether they are responsible for the interactions between tenants, that is a grey area and is full of conflict (no pun intended). On the one hand, they have a duty to ensure their properties are safe, but on the other they have a duty to provide housing to those in need – including the trouble makers.

Codes and regulations are one way of addressing this conflict – it sets the standard for all tenants but only works if everyone abides by them. When someone breaches those codes, they then have to weigh up the duty owed to the affected tenants against the duty owed to the problem tenant. At the end of the day though, all they can really do is evict the problem tenant and send the problem elsewhere.

To answer your question, no they are not exempt but they are not responsible for everything either.

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