Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Correction: CTTT and water arrears

DH apologises for the story below. She got her facts wrong. Water rates are capped only for tenants who have no separate water meter. For those with a separate water meter, the charge is based on actual water usage, and can add up to more substantial amounts. And she has heard that the 600+ termination notices included but were not limited to water arrears. The real story is far more nuanced than she at first believed.


As originally published 20 May 2009

Can you believe that in the quarter to Dec 2008, the Department of Housing hauled over 600 tenants before the CTTT (the rental tribunal), just for falling behind on water rates?

According to the Brown Couch, the Tenants Union's blog:

Housing NSW made ... 633 applications for orders terminating the tenancies of public housing tenants for failure to pay water usage charges. Private sector landlords made no such applications – not a single one
What sort of arrears are we talking about to invoke the fearsome penalty of eviction?

Water rates are capped at $5.75 per week, so over a quarter, that suggests that the total sum for which a tenant may go through the trauma of a court hearing is under $75!

You've got to wonder how much such court proceedings cost the state by comparison.

Especially when we hear that no-one actually gets evicted despite having the full weight of the law on their shoulders. Why terrorise people with the risk of homelessness for such piddling amounts? Must a cannon be employed to shoot a mosquito?

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