Eviction Policy

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Purpose

Servants Community Housing is committed to secure and sustainable tenancies. Every resident deserves to feel safe and to be at home in a peaceful environment.

This policy covers the eviction of a resident within the legal requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and the Servants Community Housing Residential Agreement. The policy operates from a perspective of supporting vulnerable residents to sustain their residencies. Our policy enables us to treat each resident fairly, and ensure that all residents living at a Servants house enjoy living there.

We are committed to aligning our Eviction Policy with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, and view the eviction of a resident as the last port of call. Residents can expect us to inform them of all their rights and channels of support during any eviction process.

Definitions

Staff member –the CEO, Tenancy Manager, Housekeeper, Operations Manager or Assets Manager

VCAT –Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Policy 

Servants Community Housing seeks to sustain all tenancies, however in some cases a tenancy must be ended. Where a resident has breached a term of their Residential Agreement, they will be advised in writing and given every opportunity and all possible support and assistance to rectify the problem.

If a resident does not make any effort to rectify the problem, they will be at risk of being evicted. Circumstances that may lead to an eviction include:

  • Damage
  • Danger
  • Disruption of peace
  • Non-payment of rent
  • Failure to comply with a VCAT order
  • Successive breaches
  • Illegal use of the room

Procedure

  • A Notice to Vacate is sent via registered post and delivered by hand to the resident from a staff member
  • The Notice to Vacate will explain the details and reasoning behind the notice
  • The Notice to Vacate will include a termination date
  • If the resident fails to vacate, an application will be made to VCAT for a hearing. The resident will be provided with a copy of this application.
  • At the hearing, each party will be provided an opportunity to explain their point of view to the VCAT member.
  • The VCAT member will decide on the case. Decisions can include:
    • Order of possession – a date is decided on which Servants will retain their room
    • Order of compliance – either party is required to follow directions set by the VCAT Member
    • Order of consent – either party must take a certain action by a particular date (i.e. make a rent payment, agree to a payment plan)
    • Dismissal – no action will be taken
  • If an Order of possession is given and the resident does not vacate by the agreed date, a warrant for possession is ordered. The warrant will then be handed to the local police. The police will attempt to contact the resident in advance warning them that they will be removed from the property if they do not comply.
    • If a resident is removed with belongings left behind, the room will be cleaned up and the items stored (personal documents for 90 days, goods of monetary value for 28 days).

At all stages of an eviction process, Servants is committed to communicating with the resident to ensure they are fully informed of what is happening.

We encourage each resident facing eviction to consult advice from the Tenants Union of Victoria, Consumer affairs, and Victorian Legal Aid.

Related policies 

Arrears Management and Hardship Policy

Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Policy

Inspection Policy

Maintenance and Repairs Policy

Legislation and standards 

This policy implements the obligations of Servants under:

Transparency and accessibility

This policy will be available on the Servants Community Housing website www.servants.org.au/policy.

Review

This policy was written in April, 2019. It is rescheduled for review in April, 2021.

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    1986Servants Community Housing established by members of Hawthorn West Baptist Church and Hawthorn Home founded
    2010Canterbury Home founded (short term lease)
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    20142nd Kew Home founded
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