This document defines Homes North’s approach to managing appeals, who can appeal and determining which decisions can be appealed.
This policy applies to all applicants, tenants, or former tenants of Homes North. This policy does not deal with complaints, compliments or general feedback. These are covered in the Complaints and Feedback Policy.
Homes North is committed to the fair and effective management of appeals.
An applicant or tenant has the right to lodge an appeal to Homes North if they disagree with a decision we have made that they believe may affect their application for housing, or their tenancy.
The objective of the appeals process is to ensure that:
All Appeals must be lodged within 3 months of the applicant being notified of the original decision.
Applicants and tenants can appeal decisions made by Homes North. Examples of decisions that can be appealed include:
For a full list of appealable issues visit the Housing Appeals website at hac.nsw.gov.au.
Where possible, applicants and tenants who are not satisfied with our decisions, are encouraged to first speak to the Homes North staff member who made the decision, (or another staff member). If they are still not satisfied with the decision, there are two levels of appeals open to them if their issue is appealable:
There cannot be more than one first-tier appeal against a decision. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your first-tier appeal then you may lodge a second tier appeal.
First-level appeals can be made in the following ways:
Tenants and applicants are encouraged to ask a Homes North staff member for advice on whether their issue can be appealed, as not all issues are eligible for review by Homes North (refer to lists above).
Staff may also help the person in completing the form and give other assistance (the staff involved in making the decision in question should not be involved in this process).
In most cases, first-level appeals are to be decided within 25 working days from the date Homes North receives a tenant’s or applicant’s written application for review.
Exceptions to this timing may be where we are waiting on further information from the tenant or applicant, or another person or organisation. In which case, we will write to the tenant or applicant and advise them that we require more time, up to another 25 working days.
The internal review will be conducted by a Homes North staff member who was not involved in making the original decision.
The recommendations of that officer will then be considered by a member of the senior management team responsible for the relevant area of Homes North operations.
Final decisions on first-level appeals will be signed off by the CEO.
The personal making the appeal will be notified in writing of Homes North’s decision.
Our written response will include details of how you can request an independent review by the NSW Housing Appeals Committee if you are unhappy with the outcome of the first-level appeal.
If a tenant or applicant believes the decision made by Homes North in the internal appeal (first-level) review is incorrect, they can lodge a request for an independent review with the Housing Appeals Committee to review the decision.
The Housing Appeals Committee is an independent agency that can review decisions of Homes NSW and community housing providers. They are easy to contact by phone, email and also through online services. Contact details are:
External appeals can be lodged:
The NSW Housing Appeals Committee will consider your request for independent review and request information from Homes North. The NSW Housing Appeal Committee reaches a conclusion about the independent review and writes a report with recommendations that is sent to the tenant/applicant and Homes North.
Once a decision has been made, following an independent review by the Housing Appeals Committee, there are no further appeals possible regarding that decision.
Homes North acknowledges that in some limited circumstances an appeal may require quick action to ensure procedural fairness and compliance with specific legislation. In these circumstances Homes North will always endeavour to comply with legislated timeframes.
The NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), deals with other tenancy issues arising from Homes North obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 including maintenance and lease issues. NCAT can be contacted on 1300 006 228 or www.ncat.nsw.gov.au.
It is the responsibility of the:
Contact Homes North on 1300 662 721 or (02) 6772 5133, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Policy no: 3.6.1\1 Version: V3
Date last reviewed: 5 December 2023