Notifications and Complaints
Please note, the Registrar does not provide accommodation and is unable to assist with accommodation requests. To enquire about accommodation, please contact Housing NSW on 1800 422 322.
The Registrar’s Role
An important function of the Registrar of Community Housing is to investigate complaints and other matters in respect of community housing providers. This function is given to the Registrar by section 10(1)(e) of the Community Housing Providers National Law (NSW).
Anyone who has concerns about whether a registered community housing provider is meeting its responsibilities under the National Regulatory Code can notify us of their concerns or make a complaint. This includes tenants, tenant advocates, and people who work with providers. Complaints and notifications are an important source of information and intelligence for the Registrar.
The Registrar's office only investigates complaints about community housing providers that registered under the NRSCH. You can check if a provider is registered by clicking this link NRSCH - National Provider Register.
Notifications and complaints can be provided in writing, by telephone or via our online form. To make a written complaint, please address your complaint to:
Registrar of Community Housing
Locked Bag 4001
Ashfield BC 1800
Our telephone number is 1800 330 940.
What can you complain about?
The Registrar’s role is to ensure compliance by registered community housing providers with the National Regulatory Code.
The Registrar does not have power to resolve disputes between individual tenants and their providers, such as disputes involving:
- Termination of the tenancy agreement
- Breach of the agreement, for example rent arrears
- Shared facilities charges
- Payments of debts
- Repairs and maintenance
- Rents and rent increases.
These types of disputes are usually resolved by the Consumer and Commercial Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). Information about NCAT’s power to resolve tenancy disputes relating to community housing is available at NSW Consumer and Commercial | Social housing.
Also, the Registrar does not handle appeals from decisions by registered community housing providers relating to an individual’s eligibility, priority, or entitlement to housing. Applicants and tenants can appeal these decisions through the Housing Appeals Committee. Examples of matters the Housing Appeals Committee include:
- For applicants: Most issues related to eligibility to be on waiting lists, priority on those lists and the provision of other services, eg emergency housing
- For tenants: Most issues related to transfer, disability modifications of dwellings, succession of tenancy, calculation of rental subsidy.
Information about making an appeal to the Housing Appeals Committee is available here: About Us - Housing Appeals Committee.
The Registrar investigates all complaints, to determine whether a registered community housing provider is meeting its obligations under the relevant Regulatory Code.
- The Registrar has a staff member designated for receiving and documenting all information enquiries and complaints received.
- Information enquiries and complaints can be provided in writing, verbally or via our online complaints form.
- Verbal complaints are written down by the staff member taking them.
- Written complaints are responded to as soon as possible.
- Complainants may get an advocate to help them when making a complaint.
- All complaints about community housing providers made to the Registrar's office are assessed and actioned accordingly.
- Should the information or complaint fall outside the jurisdiction of the Registrar, an appropriate referral will be made.
- Should the complaint fall within the jurisdiction of the Registrar, the staff member will attempt to resolve the issue at the initial point of contact.
- Where a complaint can not be resolved at the initial point of contact a plan to investigate the complaint will be formulated and the Registrar will notify the community housing provider involved and seek a response.
- If the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the Registrar, in the first instance the Registrar's office will analyse the response provided from the community housing provider and any evidence that has been received in relation to the complaint to determine if the community housing provider has met its legislative responsibilities.
- All complaints are investigated and handled in an objective manner, using procedural fairness and the principles of natural justice.
- All staff involved in complaints management treat all information as confidential to the extent possible given the need to investigate the matter.
Unreasonable Complainant Conduct
Most complainants who come to our office act reasonably and responsibly in their interactions with us, even when they are experiencing high levels of distress, frustration and anger about their complaint. However in a very small number of cases some complainants behave in ways that are inappropriate and unacceptable – despite our best efforts to help them. The Registrar’s Guidelines for Managing Unreasonable Complainant Conduct may be enacted in these circumstances.
Confidential and Anonymous Complaints
All parties must ensure that information is restricted to those who genuinely need to know.
If a complainant wishes to remain confidential or anonymous this request will be respected and the complaint investigated to the full extent possible, however, the complainant will be advised that a confidential or completely anonymous complaint could, at times, inhibit the effective investigation of their complaint.
Complainants who remain anonymous are not afforded feedback regarding the outcome of the investigation into the matter raised.