Antisocial public house tenants face three-strike evictions

A NEW "three strikes and you're out" approach to abusive public housing tenants in NSW is set to be ticked off with bipartisan support.

Criminals who illegally store guns or run drug labs or brothels from their taxpayer-subsidised homes, will not be afforded the luxury of three strikes.

They will face immediate eviction once caught.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest told parliament that using threatening language and harassing neighbours, excessive noise from wild parties or even blaring TVs, vandalism and abandoning cars in common areas would all trigger a strike.

Noisy car repairs in communal areas and leaving large amounts of rubbish in a home or garden will be grounds for a strike.

Queensland and Western Australian governments have introduced similar laws and found about 80% of offenders clean up their act after receiving their first strike.

Mr Provest said the only way for NSW residents to have a public housing neighbour evicted is if they are willing to give evidence before a tribunal.

He said a clear-cut, three-part warning system would stop the vast majority of cases progressing that far.

"Tenants may give evidence about illegal behaviour at the tribunal only to find out that their neighbour is not evicted and they have to continue living alongside them," he said.

"I can relate a number of cases in the Tweed where that has happened.

"The person exhibiting the antisocial behaviour obviously made life hell for the elderly people who eventually had to move because they were so intimidated."

Opposition MP Tania Mihailuk said Labor would support the changes but called for amendments to protect a tenant's rights if the person exhibiting the antisocial behaviour was a visitor.

She also called for an extension of the time for tenants to respond to accusations from 28 days to 60 days.

"The government must not absolve itself from its duty to protect social housing tenants from unnecessary eviction from their social housing tenancies," she said. -APN NEWSDESK



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