Submission: Statutory Review of s154D and s154G of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010


In October 2015 NSW Parliament passed the Residential Tenancies and Housing Legislation Amendments (Public Housing–Antisocial Behaviour) Act 2015 (2015 Act). The resulting changes, including section 154D (mandatory terminations) and 154G (orders for possession), have been in operation since February 2016.

Section 154D introduced mandatory eviction where a social housing landlord is evicting a tenant on the basis of illegal use of the property (section 91) or serious damage to property or injury to a neighbour or the landlord (section 90). Very limited exceptions to the mandatory eviction provision exist for especially vulnerable tenants, and tenants with children who face hardship if evicted.

The introduction of this provision effectively removed much of the discretion of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) not to terminate a tenancy where to do so would result in an unjust outcome. When this legislation was first proposed we cautioned against the introduction of these provisions. We held significant concerns they would weaken NCAT’s ability to act as an independent dispute resolution forum for social housing tenancies, and significantly limit NCAT’s discretion to avoid unjust outcomes. Having now seen the provisions in operation, we feel our concerns were not misplaced.