Housing SA clients may apply for review of decisions made in relation to their tenancy to Housing SA. There is a two stage appeal process set out in the South Australian Housing Trust Act 1995 (SA) [ss 32A, 32C and 32D].
What decisions can be appealed?
SA Housing decisions that can be appealed include:
- rental applications (including Housing Needs Assessments)
- debts (e.g. maintenance charges, rent arrears)
- tenancy matters such as rent assessment, probationary tenancies and transfers
- maintenance requests (e.g. disability modifications, floor coverings, removal of trees)
- bond and rent assistance
The review officer may recommend that the original decision be overturned if it is satisfied that the decision has not been made in line with Housing SA policy.
What things cannot be appealed?
The appeal process does not deal with:
- disputes between neighbours
- complaints about things already subject to proceedings before a court or tribunal, such as termination and eviction (see Ending a tenancy)
- government policy itself, as opposed to how the policy has been applied
- complaints about Housing SA staff, as opposed to decisions made by Housing SA staff
Overview of the appeals process
There are two stages of review for public housing appeals.
1st stage : Internal Review
A review is conducted internally by a Housing SA officer/s. At the end of the review, the applicant must be given a written statement setting out the outcome of the review and the reasons for the decision (unless the decision is in favour of the applicant, in which case reasons are not necessary) [see South Australian Housing Trust Act 1995 (SA) s 32C].
An application for internal review can be lodged at any stage. However, decisions made before 1991 cannot be appealed.
Generally an applicant will be notified of the outcome within 28 days. See the Housing Trust policy in relation to appeals on the South Australian Department of Human Services website.
An application can be lodged using the Public Housing Appeal Form with relevant supporting documentation attached.
2nd stage : Independent Review
An applicant dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal review may apply to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for the independent review of the decision [see South Australian Housing Trust Act 1995 (SA) s 32D].
Applications to review the following decisions must be made within 7 days of being given the written statement setting out the outcome of the internal review [South Australian Housing Trust Regulations 2010 (SA) reg 8]:
- a decision not to renew a tenancy
- a decision to terminate a tenancy
- a decision relating to the transfer of the tenancy to another family member of the tenant
- a decision relating to rent assistance or bond where Housing SA is not the landlord
Applications for the review of any other decision must be made within 30 days.
Who can help with an appeal?
Tenants' Information and Advisory Service (TIAS)
Provides free independent support to tenants on low incomes in the public, private and community rental markets. Support includes advocacy on tenancy issues such as tenancy rights and responsibilities, application processes for private and
public rental, disputes, debts, evictions, and appeals processes.
Telephone: 1800 060 462 or visit the Tenants' Information and Advisory Service website.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.