NSW Tenants

Information for Tenants

New South Wales

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Centrepay™
This is a free service for anyone receiving a Centrelink™ benefit and this process is a Compass preferred method of payment.

Post Bill Pay
A post bill card will be issued to you and is uniquely coded to your tenancy.  This option can be used for any payment on Compass invoices for water or maintenance or your weekly rent payments.

Bank Cheque or Money Order
A bank cheque or Australia Post money order payment can be made by post or in person at a Branch.  Please note if you post the payment it must be received by Compass on the due day of your payment and must clearly identify the tenant’s name and property address.

BPAY
Compass is currently setting up BPAY facilities for rent payments, tenants will received information about this payment option in the coming weeks via mail.

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is a non-taxable income supplement paid through Centrelink™ to individuals and families who rent in the private rental market (e.g. Social Housing).  It aims to address basic living costs by reducing the proportion of household income that is spent on housing.

The subsidised rent is based on a percentage of assessable household income plus 100% of the household’s entitlement to CRA.  This is subject to the qualification that the subsidised rent must not exceed market rent.

Moe information on CRA eligibility rules, including minimum rent amounts and maximum amounts of CRA payable for various income types, can be obtained from the Centrelink™ website: www.humanservices.gov.au

Market rent is the actual rent amount for the property, whereas rebated (or subsidised) rent is the rent that is applicable to a tenant based on their income calculation and eligibility.

A rebated or subsidised rent amount will never exceed the market rent amount.

Compass will undertake a general income assessment and rent review approximately every six (6) months for all tenants.

If a tenant does not provide information required to calculate their subsidised rent, Compass will charge full market rent until the requested information is received.

Compass must also review its market rents annually to make sure that the rate at which market rent is assessed is in line with current valuations of properties. If we have to adjust the market rent tenants will be given at least sixty (60) days’ notice in writing.


NRAS Tenants

All tenants housed under the National Rental Affordability Scheme are required to participate in an annual eligibility review in order to receive a rebated rent. Tenants who lease under this program their rents will not exceed  80% of the market rent.

If rent falls into arrears at any time, the Tenancy Relation Officer will work with the tenant to set a repayment plan to catch up the money owing. Hopefully this should only be a one-off situation.

If tenants do not contact Compass regarding their rent arrears, their tenancy may be at risk. If the arrears period is more than fourteen (14) days and contact has not been made with the Tenancy Relation Officer, a Notice of Termination will be issued.

A bond is payable when signing your Residential Tenancy Agreement. 

Compass requires tenants to pay a rental bond at the commencement of a tenancy. The maximum bond payable is equal to (4) weeks market rent. If you are unable pay the amount in full, please speak with your Tenancy Relations Officer prior to signing your lease, as we may be able to arrange for a payment plan.

All rental bond payments will be remitted to the Rental Bond Board (RBB) within the timeframes specified by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and/or the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2010.

Tenants not living in social housing properties will be charged water in accordance with Section 39 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 which states that – ‘tenants will be charged for water usage only when the property is separately metered, the property contain water efficiency measures prescribed by the Regulations and the water usage charged do not exceed the amount payable by the landlord.

Tenants living in social and affordable housing under a social housing agreement are charged for water in accordance with the Ministerial Guidelines for Community Housing Water charging approved by the appropriate Minister in January 2012.

Water usage charges are identified separately on tenant statements and will need to be paid separately to rent.  If a tenant is required to pay for water charges, Compass will ensure that they receive the invoice no later than three (3) months after receipt of the account from the water supply company. Tenants will have twenty one (21) days to pay the account.  The invoice will state the amount due and payable, a copy of the account from the water authority will be provided to tenants for their records.

Compass Housing is responsible for carrying out maintenance and repairs to Housing NSW properties (leased by Compass Housing) and Compass Housing owned properties, and facilitating maintenance and repairs to privately leased properties through the owner or agent.

You are expected to keep your home and grounds in a clean and tidy condition as per your lease agreement and to report damage or any items that need repair within 3 days of the occurrence and to ensure your contact details are up to date.

It is your responsibility to report any matters that require attention via the call centre or directly to your Tenancy Relations Officer.

To ensure a timely service, please give the staff member assisting you the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address & current telephone number
  • A description of the problem and/or location within the home
  • Whether you have reported the problem before
  • When is a suitable time for a tradesperson to attend and hopefully fix the problem
  • That you advise if you have pets that may need to be restrained whilst repairs are undertaken.

It is important that you make yourself available via the contact number you supplied and that you keep the appointment made by our contractors.

Please allow reasonable access to your home by Compass Housing staff or contracted tradespeople during the working hours 8:30am-5pm to either assess the condition of the property or to carry out identified maintenance repairs.

Compass Housing staff or Contractor’s will not enter your premises when you are not home, unless you have made alternative arrangements for someone else to provide access to the property, or with the exception of emergency situations. In such circumstances all care will be taken to make necessary repairs and ensure the security of your property and premises.

The initial point of contact for tenants with maintenance issues is to call 1300 333 733.

A Service Request will be raised by a staff member which includes all relevant information and forwarded through to our Maintenance section where the priority for completion will be allocated and a work order sent to the Contractor.

Where Compass Housing has organised maintenance that is not considered the result of fair wear and tear, where the property has been damaged maliciously or through neglect by the tenant, or failure to allow access for repair, then costs will be borne by the tenant.

Timeframes for Completion of Maintenance are set down in Compass Housing’s Policy and Procedures, and are as follows:

  • Emergency - 4 hours
  • Urgent - 24 hours
  • Inspection Required - 7 days
  • Routine - 21 days

For maintenance issues on all privately leased properties, please contact your Tenancy Relations Officer who will then either arrange to have the work carried out, or pass the request through to the owner or agent of the property for action. Please do not contact the agent or the owner directly for maintenance issues. Please advise your Tenancy Relations Officer of any serious problems or excessive delays you may be experiencing during maintenance work.  Poor workmanship or poor customer service by contractors should also be reported.

Compass Housing strives to maintain a standard of housing that ensures our tenants are comfortable in their homes; therefore property maintenance is always high on the agenda.

Compass Housing aims to provide prompt delivery of services via its team of qualified & licensed contractors to fix problems as they occur and to ensure regular planned maintenance or non–urgent work is carried out in line with the Compass Housing maintenance policy guidelines.

Compass Housing also undertakes a comprehensive scoping of its properties to identify problem areas that might arise, as well as looking at areas needing upgrading or replacement.

Compass Housing’s corporate mission is to manage housing stock according to best practice standards & each request will be treated as equally as the next one.

Should you need to call Compass Housing regarding a maintenance problem your request will be responded to as quickly as possible.

Compass Housing Services is committed to ensuring all tenants and applicants have fair and equitable access to its services.

If you are not happy with our service, standards, practices or policies, you have the right to make a complaint.

You may think we are taking too long to get something done or you are not happy with the outcome. You can complain about any part of the service you receive.

We hope that most complaints can be resolved by discussing it with the staff member.  However sometimes this may not be successful or you may not consider it appropriate to do so.

Complaints can be lodged in person, over the phone or by email.

Obtain a copy of the Complaint Form from your local branch, Head Office or by downloading a copy. Make sure you include as much information as possible about your complaint. Anonymous complaints are only investigated in special circumstances.

Lodge the Complaint Form to our Complaints Officer via email at complaints@compasshousing.org or with your Tenancy Relations Officer. Alternatively, complaints may be lodged in person at any of our branches or over the phone.

We will send you a letter to let you know we received your complaint and will start investigating it. We may need to contact you if we need more information.

All complaints will be reviewed independently and all information available at the time of complaint will be considered.

Following the investigation, a formal response will be forwarded to you in writing (generally within 15 working days of receipt of the complaint) informing you of the outcome and explaining the reason(s) for any decision;

To protect the rights and privacy of tenants and staff, we may not be able to tell you the result of the investigation if it involves others.

Compass Housing Services welcomes complaints and views them as a way to improve services and be accountable to tenants.


The following information is important to remember about out complaints and appeals systems:

  • Compass Housing Services will acknowledge your formal appeal and complaint in writing as soon as practicable;
  • You will receive a response within 15 working days of your complaint being lodged with the exception of complaints regarding a privacy issues where a response will be forwarded within 60 days;
  • The process of assessing and completing appeals will take no longer than 28 days from the date of receipt, if a delay is to occur, Compass Housing Services will notify you of the expected timeframe and reasons for this;
  • You have the right to use an advocate or a friend to assist you throughout the process;
  • Complaints received will be recorded in an appropriate manner;
  • Complaint and appeals process will be communicated to applicants and tenants in appropriate formats;
  • Compass Housing Services will respond to all complaints in a confidential, effective, and timely manner.

Not satisfied?

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint there are a variety of external avenues available. These may include, making an application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

 

Compass does not tolerate unacceptable behaviour and will respond within established policies and procedures and the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW). However, when an antisocial behaviour complaint is received, Compass will investigate the allegation, when it has been supported by one or more of the following Police Event Number/s, Incident Diary and a Statutory Declaration.

You can make a complaint about your neighbour by contacting your nearest Branch office or Head Office – but we only involve ourselves if we are required to by law (Residential Tenancies Act 2010 NSW). You can also contact your local police service to make neighbourhood complaints.

We do not have authority to investigate criminal offences. If your neighbour is physically or verbally harassing you or if illegal substances are being used, report your concerns to the relevant authorities by contacting the Police Link Line (131 444) or your Local Police Command.

Please remember that Compass is not always the most appropriate place to call if you are having problems with neighbours, as our ability to do something about the problem is limited.


Important documents:


Reports of antisocial behaviour of our tenants are dealt by Compass Housing Services seriously and we will thoroughly investigate each incident in a fair and reasonable manner. Where we can confirm where an incident of antisocial behaviour has occurred appropriate action will be taken.

Please note we will not normally interfere in disputes between neighbours except where required to do so under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW). 

For further information: 

  • Managing Antisocial Behaviour - Fact Sheet

I’m already a tenant of Compass Housing, but I want to transfer to a different property.

Transfers take place when a household cannot live in a property anymore because it does not meet their needs or has become unavailable for them to live in - the criteria for transfers can be accessed here.

Please note that tenants are only able to transfer within their same housing program.

If you believe you are eligible for a transfer and want to apply, you can contact our Housing Pathways team.

Appeals are made in response to a decision we have made which you believe is wrong or unfair.

If you are a Compass Housing applicant or tenant, you can appeal our decisions; this also includes applicants making an application for housing. and unhappy about our decision - you can appeal it by going through our internal complaints and appeals process. If you are still dissatisfied you can progress the matter through the Housing Appeals Committee.

More information on the Housing Appeals committed can be found at www.hac.nsw.gov.au.


What happens?

Download the Appeal Request Form (above) or obtain a copy from your local branch office.

Lodge the Appeal Form to your Housing Manager (or applicable branch office). Include any new information since the original decision. You will receive a letter confirming receipt of your appeal as soon as practicable and advisement of what will happen next.

You can request an interview, if deemed necessary, you can bring a friend or advocate for help or support. Please advise Compass Housing if you require an interpreter.

The relevant Operations Officer shall review the decision based on a brief provided by your Housing Manager and make a determination on your appeal;

Notwithstanding this decision can then be appealed to the Complaints & Appeals Committee. The Complaints and Appeals Committee, which includes the Chief Executive Officer shall make a determination and respond to the complainant.

If you are not happy with the decision made on your application and you wish to appeal, you can write to Compass Housing, obtain an appeals package from any Compass Housing office, or download online from Appeal Request Form.


Completed Appeal Request forms, together with any support documentation, should be forwarded to Central Administration Office:

Head Office
Suite 1/44 Beaumont Street
PO Box 967
Hamilton NSW 2303

P. 02 4920 2600 • F. 02 4961 5250

Compass' Policies & Procedure Manual is currently under review and will be updated shortly.

Compass Housing is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of personal and sensitive information, collected, known and administered by us.

We will only ever collect personal information directly related to providing tenants with assistance and services.

Please also be assured that the tenant’s personal information (including documents containing personal information) will only be provided to a third-party with either their consent, or where we are required to by law.

In the event of an Emergency:

An emergency may include natural disasters; bushfires; severe weather events; flooding or unnatural disasters such as terrorism, large scale rioting. In any emergency situation Compass Housing follows directions from the lead response agency and strongly advises all our tenants to do the same.

During an emergency it is important to keep up to date on what’s happening in your area. Your emergency broadcaster is ABC Local Radio or ABC News 24.

Go to your State Emergency Service and Fire Service websites for information on preparing your home for an emergency and emergency action plans.


Contacts:

Compass facilitates an annual tenant forum in a local area to each of our service centres. Each forum is attended by tenants, senior and/or executive managements, a maintenance representative and is facilitated by the local area Tenancy Relations Support Officer. 

The purpose of these forums is to serve the following purposes:

  • Let tenants know the changes that are happening at Compass;
  • Find out what Compass is doing well at and any areas for improvement;
  • Allow the promotion of tenant sustainability initiatives; &
  • Advise tenants of the complaints and appeals process.

Information sharing takes 1.5  2 hours and is followed by a morning tea or lunch. The forums provide tenants an opportunity to voice their issues, and concerns. At the end of the forum, feedback forms handed out and the tenants asked to please complete and hand back to us for feedback. 

These forums are proving to be a useful tool in identifying operational and maintenance issues and any other systematic issues/problems we may not already be aware of. They are not to cause alarm; the issues raised are recorded and noted for action items that are then followed up if found to be of merit. 

  • For more information on our Tenant Community Forums  - Contact Us

Getting Involved

Compass Housing actively encourages tenants to get involved and play a part in shaping the delivery of social housing through tenant participation and consultation.

Tenant Participation aims to build partnerships between tenants and Compass Housing to:

  • Improve the skills, knowledge and ultimately the quality of life of social housing tenants ;
  • Support and strengthen communities; &
  • Improve the way social housing is delivered and managed.

Compass Housing also encourages our tenants to form tenant groups within their community or in their unit complex. We assist in setting the groups up, and arranging morning or afternoon tea. We have recently assisted in setting up a tenant run market stall at Scone Markets where tenants sell their produce, arts, crafts and woodwork.

Compass Housing seeks feedback from tenants through its Annual Tenant Satisfaction Survey. This is one of the best ways to ensure we continue to provide high quality housing services. Our quality services delivery is evident by the consistently high and improving tenant satisfaction.

Compass Housing also has a social event calendar over all areas of operation which includes activities to encourage tenant involvement and social inclusion. We are experienced in organising social events and activities for our tenants and we involve tenants by asking them what events and activities they would like to take part in.

We offer a wide range of social and recreational activities such as craft groups, hobby groups, computer classes, BBQ’s, luncheons, bus trips, picnics and more which will benefit the tenants by involving them within their community.

These programs and activities combined with educational programs about health and active living create opportunities for the tenants to live healthier happier lifestyles.


JobQuest - Lawn Mowing & Cleaning

Are you interested in earning a few extra dollars?

Even if you have no prior experience, JobQuest can help you with training & employment. JobQuest is looking for people interested in lawn mowing & cleaning. PP&E is supplied.

JobQuest’s depot is located at Mayfield. The only requirement is that you can make your own way to the depot.

If you are interested, contact Lisa Berry on 02 4960 9024 & advise her that you are a Compass tenant.


Samaritans - Lawn & Garden Care

Samaritans Lawn & Garden Care have job vacancies for people who meet the following criteria:

  • Must be 18yrs old and over;
  • Must have a diagnosed mental illness;
  • Must be on disability support pension;
  • Minimum requirement one day per week;
  • Available to work Monday-Friday between 7.30am & 3.30pm.

Training provided, please phone 02 4924 6851 to apply.

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