(07) 4091 5356 reception@tch.org.au

Tenants

What you need to know

Committed to the rights of tenants

Tableland Community Housing has a clear commitment to the rights of tenants to respectful, fair and non-discriminatory treatment.

We are committed to providing secure, sustainable, and affordable housing to those on the social housing waitlist. Our tenants are our focus, and we actively work with them to establish and maintain their tenancies. It is important to us that our tenants develop a sense of belonging and security in their homes and have the opportunities and supports they need to feel connected and involved in the local community.

Tableland Community Housing has a long history of working in partnership with support organisations. Through partnerships we can support our tenants to sustain their tenancies and strengthen the communities in which we operate. Housing staff advocate on behalf of tenants to improve their access to services and collaborate with our partners to ensure services are accessible and delivered in a quality and timely manner.

We actively encourage our tenants to contribute to their housing needs and to participate in social activities such as end of year tenant barbeques, tenant surveys, tenant newsletters and through tenant representatives.

Below are website links and phone numbers for local support services that can assist in helping our tenants.

Tablelands Regional Council

State Emergency Service (SES)

Better Together Atherton

Women's Centre Atherton

Atherton Community Health Centre

Mulungu Health Care Service - Midin Clinic

Atherton Hospital

Mareeba Hospital

Cairns Hospital

Mareeba Community Housing Company

Ravenshoe Community Centre

Mareeba Community Centre

Salvation Army - Atherton Tablelands

St Vincent de Paul Society

Men's Shed Atherton

DVConnect Womensline

DVConnect Mensline

Tenancy Information

Rent and other payments
Rent is based on your household income and calculated using the Community Housing Rent Calculator. Rent is to be paid directly by Direct Debit with your bank or through the Centrepay deduction method (at no extra charge to the tenant). These methods are reliable and efficient and ensure your rent is paid promptly and regularly. You can ask for a copy of the rent ledger at any time.

Bond
The bond is calculated at four (4) week’s rent. The bond increases when your rent increases (assessed yearly) so that it is always the equivalent of four (4) week’s rent.

Emergency Repairs

What’s the difference between an emergency repair and a routine repair?

The law lists a variety of situations that are considered emergency repairs. If a problem that is dangerous or health threatening occurs outside office hours, refer the problem to the repairer nominated in your tenancy agreement or on the emergency contact list in your tenancy pack.

Urgent repairs need a response with 24 hours and are for health, safety and security issues, for example:

  • a burst water services or a serious water service leak
  • a blocked or broken lavatory system
  • a serious roof leak
  • a gas leak
  • a dangerous electrical fault
  • flooding or serious flood damage
  • serious storm, fire or impact damage
  • a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
  • a failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance on the premises for hot water, cooking or heating, and
  • a fault/damage that is likely to cause injury, undue inconvenience or which makes the premises unsafe or insecure (for example broken stairs).

Tenants who call and arrange for repairs after hours, other than for emergency repairs, may be charged for the cost of the after-hours call out fee. If the situation is not listed as an emergency repair, it is considered a routine repair.

Major Leak or Burst Water Pipe

If a major leak or burst water pipe occurs at your unit/house, please turn off the water at the mains and then contact us (in office hours) or the plumber stated on your lease (outside office hours). Turning the water off at the mains prevents property damage and water wastage.

Light Bulbs

Please note that light bulb replacement is the tenant’s responsibility, unless your fittings are LED, which means they are hardwired, which will then be the responsibility of TCHA to replace.

Faulty Electrical Appliances

If your power supply goes off, and you find the safety switch on the power board has tripped to the OFF position, please remember it could be caused by a faulty appliance.

Before you call our office or an electrician after hours, follow this procedure:

  1. Unplug all the appliances including refrigerator, toaster, power boards etc.
  2. Reset the safety switch back to the ON position.
  3. Plug one appliance back in at a time to check each appliance. Turn the appliance on and use it e.g. toaster, TV.
  4. If the appliance is faulty, it will trip the safety switch to the OFF position.
  5. Remove the faulty appliance and plug in all the remaining appliances and reset the safety switch. This should fix the problem.
  6. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, repeat the procedure to double check.
  7. Call Ergon Energy to check if there are problems in your area.
  8. If Ergon Energy can’t assist, call our office during opening hours.
  9. Call the electrician listed on your lease for after hour emergencies.

Tenants will be charged for the cost of calling out an electrician, if it is caused by a tenant’s faulty appliance, so it is wise to check appliances first.

Reporting Routine (Non-Urgent) Repairs & Maintenance

Things go wrong from time to time in any home. If there is a need to report a repair, get in touch with the office and we will make sure it is dealt with as quickly as possible. Repairs can be reported in a number of ways:

  • in person
  • by telephone
  • in writing: as a repair request form, letter or email.

Report any damage or fault quickly, so maintenance/repairs can be organised promptly. In some cases, housing staff may wish to inspect the problem to see what is needed before the right contractor can be contacted.

Any urgent repairs will be attended to as soon as possible after they have been reported. Do not attempt to do any repairs yourself.

Property Damage

We will do regular inspections throughout your tenancy but not more than once every 3 months.

You will be notified with an Entry Notice (Form 9) at least 7 days before an inspection. The inspection is not to judge your lifestyle except where it causes or may cause damage to the property. Don’t leave cleaning until the day of the inspection. When you receive an Entry Notice, we suggest that you begin preparing straight away. It is very important for the property and inclusions (yard etc.) to be clean and tidy, as this is part of your tenancy agreement. Failure to do so will result in a breach notice.

A tenant is responsible for intentional negligent or malicious damage to the premises, either by themselves or invited guests. If you or your guests have caused damage to the property, we can arrange to have the repair done and you can pay off the account by instalments. Doing repairs yourselves, e.g. patching holes in doors, will cost you more because the repairs will be redone by a qualified tradesperson. Call the office as soon as any damage occurs to the property.

Tenant Behaviour and Neighbourhood Disputes

Tableland Community Housing is the landlord for all current tenants. We expect our tenants to live in their premises in a way that is respectful to the property, its neighbours and the community. In conjunction with this, we expect tenants to be responsible for the property and the actions of any household member or visitor to the property. TCHA will work with you to assist in the resolution of any neighbour disputes. Please talk to your Housing Manager for more information.

Your Responsibilities:

  • Respect your neighbours right to quiet enjoyment of their property.
  • Treat our employees respectfully.
  • Pay your rent on time.
  • Pay your water usage bills that are sent to you.
  • Keep to your agreement to pay off your bond.
  • Keep your property clean and tidy and prevent damage to the property.
  • Advise us within 14 days if your circumstances change including income and household members.
  • Report any maintenance issues as soon as you are aware of them.
  • Ensure your smoke detector is working and please do not put any covers over the alarm to try to prevent it going off.
  • Ask permission for any current or future pets.
  • Do not use the premises for illegal purposes. No business is to be conducted from the premises.
  • Be responsible for the behaviour of all household member and guests.

Complaints, Grievances & Appeals

Tableland Community Housing wants to provide a good service. If you are not happy with our service or our policies or practices, we hope, in the first instance, you will tell us so we can try and sort it out. We will listen carefully to any concerns about our service, and we welcome any suggestions for how to do things better. Please tell us about any problems as soon as possible. The earlier you tell us, the sooner we can act. If you wish to make a formal complaint, it will be promptly acknowledged and investigated. Tenants will not be penalised in any way if they do make a complaint and will continue to receive respectful service. Complaints may be made anonymously.

If you make an anonymous complaint, we will not be able to keep you informed about the complaint’s progress or outcome and you will not be able to provide more information which we may need to thoroughly assess the complaint. For this reason, we encourage complainants to provide their contact details. If you provide your details, you can advise us that you wish the complaint to remain confidential and we will not disclose your identity and contact details without your permission.

To make a formal complaint:

  • Lodge a written complaint to TCHA. This can either be in the form of a letter or on a Complaint Form. These forms are available at the office or here.
  • Please post the complaint to Attention: Management Committee, TCHA, P.O. Box 917, Atherton Q 4883, email to manager@tch.org.au or hand deliver it to the office.
  • The Management Committee shall meet within 5 days of receipt in writing of the complaint/grievance, or as soon as practical after receiving the notice.
  • Complaints will be addressed promptly, and the Management Committee will make a written report to all parties within 7 days of the meeting, if contact details have been provided.
  • The Management Committee may arrange for a special grievance meeting or dispute hearing, when appropriate, to investigate and consider matters related to the dispute.
  • The special grievance meeting or dispute hearing may include:
    – a tenant representative
    – two or more Management Committee members
Change of income or other circumstances

If you get a job, you must advise the office as soon as you start working. If the household income changes, please ensure you notify the office immediately. (Don’t forget to inform Centrelink as well). Avoiding this responsibility can place your tenancy at risk. Should you have changes made to your Centrelink payment, please ensure you also advise the office.

Tenant Information Book

Privacy

The information regarding your tenancy is confidential. We are committed to protecting your privacy and collect, store, use, and disclose personal information responsibly and transparently when we deliver housing services and conduct business. Personal information will not be collected unless the information is for a lawful purpose that is directly related to the association’s operations.