Rights and Responsibilities

Remote Aboriginal Housing Tenant Toolbox

Moving in

When you are signing up to live in your new home, your Housing Officer will complete a Property Condition Report with you. This report avoids any argument over who was responsible for any damage when you move out later.

It is important that you tell your Housing Officer of any damage that is already present. If you can, take along a camera and photograph any damage you can see.

What to look for:

  • Old drill holes and marks on the walls
  • Dents or damage to any appliances
  • Marked or broken furniture
  • Burns of any description.

Look in each room, checking that all appliances are in working order. Also check the outside of the house and the garden.

If you do this, you will not be charged for repairs to anything that was damaged before you moved in.

If you don't sign the report, we will assume you were satisfied the property was in good repair when you moved in. You will be held responsible for any damage when you move out.

Please note that every house must have one (1) smoke alarm and three (3) Residual Current Devices (RCDs) that protects you from electric shocks.

Looking after your home

As your landlord, we must keep your home in a safe condition. As a tenant, you share the responsibility for looking after your home with us. You must keep your home clean and tidy and pest-free. If something breaks down or needs repair, report it to your Housing Officer immediately.

Being a good neighbour

Every tenant is expected to be a good neighbour.

The Housing Authority provides homes to more than 70,000 people in 39,000 properties in Western Australia and the vast majority live in harmony with their neighbours.

It is recognised that being a good neighbour is a two way street, but it is in your interest to make sure things do not get out of hand. Tenants are expected to follow certain standards of behaviour, including being a good neighbour.

Anti-social behaviour is a breach of your Tenancy Agreement and is treated very seriously by Housing.

Antisocial behaviour includes:

  • Fights and unruly behaviour
  • Parties that get out of hand
  • Playing very loud music, especially late at night
  • Abusive language
  • Entering neighbourhood properties without permission
  • Interfering with people’s possessions
  • Damaging property.

If your behaviour is unacceptable, you might be asked to leave your house.

Improving your home

If you want to change your house in a big way, like knocking down walls or taking out built-in cupboards, you will need to get permission from your Housing Officer.

Some of the improvements you might be able to make include:

  • Curtain tracks and shelving
  • TV antennas and satellite dishes
  • Roller shutters, security screens or blinds
  • Air conditioners and ceiling fans

But check with your Housing Officer first. Obtaining approval first is very important, even for painting.

If you do not obtain approval you may have to remove any structures or renovations at your own cost.

If your work is approved, you will be responsible for organising and paying for all materials and work carried out on your home, and for ensuring that the work meets all legal requirements.

When you move out, you will have to make sure there are no drill holes left in the walls or other damage to property.

If you are in doubt, call your Housing officer during business hours.

Bi-annual inspections

Your Housing Officer will visit your home at least two times each year. This is called the bi-annual property inspection. The maximum number of property inspections per year is four.

The visit is to make sure that you are keeping your home clean and tidy and to see if anything needs repair or maintenance.

You will be given plenty of notice and you must be home during the inspection.

They usually take about 30 minutes. Remote community inspections take about 60 minutes.

You can prepare for the inspection by:

  • Sweeping away dirt and dust
  • Wiping away grime and cobwebs
  • Wiping down benches, walls, cupboards, sinks, bathrooms, toilet and appliances
  • Cleaning windows
  • Cutting the grass
  • Sweeping paths and patios
  • Removing rubbish.

You may want to ask a family member or friends to help you. If not, services from local shires or community groups may be able to help. Ask your Housing Officer how to find some of these services.

Your Housing Officer can also visit throughout the year to see how you’re going.

These visits are part of your tenancy agreement.

Moving out

You will need to let your housing Officer know that you are moving our at least 21 days before. Your property must be left clean and tidy and in good repair.

If you do not do this, we may charge you for cleaning up or for repairing damage. We call this tenant liability.

Your ​Housing Officer will compare the condition of your property when you moved in to the condition when you moved out.

They will look at the Property Condition Report that you filled in when you first moved in.


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