Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is Community Housing?
- How do I contact Minda about my Tenancy?
- What happens when I move in?
- Emergency Situations
- Do I need to notify Minda if I am away from home?
- Am I able to have pets in my home?
- Who organises pest control?
- What if there are pests and vermin on/in the property?
- Do I need Contents Insurance?
- Bond and Rent in Advance
- When do I pay?
- How to pay Tenant(s) Rent
- How much will my Rent be?
- What if my Rent falls in to arrears?
- How often is the Rent reviewed?
- What happens if I lose my keys?
- Can I run a business from home?
- Who is responsible for connecting the telephone and internet?
- Will my details be kept confidential?
- When will Minda conduct inspections?
- Am I able to have visitors?
- Who is responsible for the smoke alarms?
- Who is responsible for the maintenance of the garden?
- Who will organise Maintenance of the property?
- What are my responsibilities regarding looking after the property?
- Who is responsible for connecting the water?
- Are there any water restrictions?
- What if I damage the property?
- What do I need to consider when moving out?
- What if my complaint involves illegal activity?
- What will Minda do when they receive a complaint?
- What can you do to assist?
- Why have some Minda Tenant(s) not been evicted for their anti-social behaviour?
1. What is Community Housing?
Minda is a Community Housing Organisation which provides appropriate and purpose-designed houses for people living with disability. All Community Housing Organisations are regulated under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing Organisations (NRSCH).
Community Partnerships and Growth (CPG) is the name of the area in the South Australian Government which regulates Community Housing Organisations in South Australia. Minda must comply with the NRSCH and the policies and related legal obligations. These include, how much rent you pay, what happens if you are unhappy with a service you have received, who can live in Minda properties and what rights and responsibilities you, and Minda have.
2. How do I contact Minda about my Tenancy?
You can contact us between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday:
Address: 12 – 16 King George Ave, North Brighton SA 5048 Phone: 1800 1 MINDA (64632)
3. What happens when I move in?
You, your Accommodation Manager and the Minda Tenancy Officer will each separately complete the Property Inspection Form, which has been provided to you. This form records the condition of the property at the commencement of your lease and will be used to cross-reference at the expiration of your lease. If you are moving to a new area, we recommend you contact your local Council regarding kerb and rubbish collection and activities in your local community.
4. Emergency Situations
In the case of an emergency, call 000.
In the case of an Electricity / Gas emergency, call your service provider’s emergency services number. Once the danger has passed, please notify Minda of the emergency. Please call Minda if the emergency happens during business hours. Minda will manage the emergency and will determine who is responsible for payment of any damage.
You may decide to keep a list of emergency contacts, including family and friends.
5. Do I need to notify Minda if I am away from home?
If you will be away from home for more than two weeks, please advise Minda so we know you are safe and sound and that your property has not been abandoned.
Please lock your windows and doors and ask a family member, friend or neighbour to check on the property for you regularly. Please ask someone to collect your mail or ask the post office to hold it for you while you are away.
6. Am I able to have pets in my home?
As the Tennant, you must request permission from Minda before you get a new pet.
Please inform Minda if you have a pet at the time of transferring, or moving into a Minda property. If the size and type of pet does not conflict with Council regulations, and the pet is not likely to cause significant damage to the property, you will be permitted to have the pet.
7. Who organises pest control?
If you wish to have the home you are tenanting treated, you can arrange to have a qualified pest control company to treat the home, at your cost.
8. What if there are pests and vermin on/in the property?
It is your responsibility to keep the home free of pests and other insects/animals that may be damaging to your health.
Please ask the Manager of your accommodation support to contact your local Council if you find a European Wasp nest on the property you rent.
9. Do I need Contents Insurance?
We strongly recommend you organise contents insurance cover for items such as window breakage, loss of possessions and valuables.
10. Bond and Rent in Advance
You may be required to pay a Bond, which will be the total of four weeks’ rent. You can apply for Bond and Rent in Advance assistance through Housing SA.
11. When do I pay?
You will pay rent two weeks in advance, commencing from the day you move in.
12. How to pay Tenant(s) Rent
Centrepay Rent Deduction
If you are on a Centrelink benefit, rent can be debited fortnightly from your account straight to Minda, via the Centrepay Rent Reduction scheme. Please see the ‘applying for Centrepay’ form for further information, or ask Tenant(s) allocations officer to assist you to apply for the Centrepay Rent Deduction Scheme.
Our preferred method of payment is by direct debit of Tenant(s) rent into the Minda account. Bank SA
Account Name: Minda Operating AC
Account Number: 117930140
Details: Tenant(s) need to include their surname in the description. Please check with your bank about how much you will be charged per transaction.
13. How much will my Rent be?
There are two types of rent that can be applied to Minda tenants: Market Rent or Income Based Rent.
In doing so Minda will calculate the Rent applicable to a Tenant based on eligibility criteria and income, applying the Government of South Australia Community Housing Core Operating Policy – Rent Management Current Rent Framework for Community Housing Providers – Supported and Affordable Tenancies Policy; and using one of the two approved rent calculator systems.
Rental amount will be inclusive of all supplements and Commonwealth Rent Assistance (see information sheet on how to apply for Commonwealth Rent Assistance).
14. What if my Rent falls in to arrears?
If you cannot make a payment, please contact Minda immediately, or ask your advocate, guardian or the Accommodation Manager to contact us to discuss further.
15. How often is the Rent reviewed?
Rent reviews occur in April and October of each year.
For Minda to calculate the amount of rent to be charged, a form will be sent to you asking you to provide evidence of your household income. If you as the Tenant do not reply within the time specified on the request, then rent will be set at the market rent rate; this is the highest amount of rent that can be charged for Tenant(s) property based on the capital value of the property which is calculated by the Valuer General on a yearly basis.
If you sign the Income Confirmation Service (ICS) consent form provided in Tenant(s) pack, you can give Centrelink permission to provide your income details to Minda therefore you will not need to provide evidence of your income at rent review times.
16. What happens if I lose my keys?
It is important that you have access to a spare key, in a safe place, or you can leave a spare key with the Accommodation Manager. If you lose your keys, it is your responsibility as the Tenant to replace them.
If you lock your Tenant(s) keys inside the house, you must pay the cost of a locksmith to come out – you can find a locksmith of your choice in the Yellow Pages.
If within business hours, Minda may be able to come and unlock Tenant(s) house; but you may have to pay a fee.
17. Can I run a business from home?
If you would like to operate a business from your tenancy home, there will be different approvals including: Minda, Local Council conditions and Renewal SA (may be required depending on the type of housing arrangements you have entered into) prior to the business commencing.
18. Who is responsible for connecting the telephone and internet?
You as the Tenant(s) are responsible for connecting your telephone and internet. We suggest you find a service provider who meets your needs and budget. There is a once off connection fee and a monthly rental fee for your Tenant telephone.
19. Will my details be kept confidential?
Minda will keep Tenant(s) details confidential at all times.
If you have signed an ‘authority to disclose’ form, this gives Minda permission to provide your details to people/agencies which you have chosen.
You will also have the option to sign an ‘authority to exchange information’ form which specifies if there is any particular information you do not want Minda to know, or you do not want Minda to disclose to other people/agencies.
20. When will Minda conduct inspections?
Upon the request of Minda, you as the Tenant must provide access for maintenance and inspections of your home. You will receive an inspection notice giving you at least 7 days and not more than 14 days’ notice.
Please ensure you are home for the agreed date and time of Tenant(s) inspection, otherwise the Minda Tenancy Officer will have to reschedule. If you are continually not home for Tenant(s) appointments and Tenant(s) Tenancy Officer is unable to inspect the property, the Minda will go to the SACAT.
21. Am I able to have visitors?
A visitor is defined as a person who has their own residential address (separate from the address that they are currently visiting), and who intends to return to reside in that property.
If you have a visitor in Tenant(s) home longer than 12 weeks consecutively, they will be considered residents of Tenant(s) home (except under special circumstances) and you must declare their income.
You must also inform Minda that these people are residing with you, in case there are over-occupancy issues.
Failure to inform Minda that someone is residing for more than 12 weeks may result in the rent payable by you.
22. Who is responsible for the smoke alarms?
The Minda Tenant(s) Tenancy Officer will check smoke alarms are working before you move in. If, during the your tenancy, the smoke alarm is not working properly (and you have checked that it is not a battery issue), do not try and fix it please – contact the Tenancy Officer or the Maintenance Team.
23. Who is responsible for the maintenance of the garden?
It is the Tenant(s) responsibility to ensure the garden is kept neat and tidy. Minda Community Housing Association will assist you with:
- Treatment of extensive poisonous weeds and shrubs
- Removal or trees or shrubs which are a danger to you, the home or the sewerage system.
24. Who will organise Maintenance of the property?
Please call 08 8422 6324 for Maintenance assistance.
Maintenance requests will be attended to in order of priority.
Please find listed below items which are considered emergency maintenance and will be attended to out of hours:
- Building not safe/secure. If this is due to forced entry, report the incident to the Police and do not tidy up until the Police have completed their inspection and provided you with a Police Report Number
- No power to lights and socket outlets
- Electrical sparking or shorting – please turn power off at the mains board
- Fully blocked sewerage, such as overflowing toilet and/or drains
- Gas leak – if there is a smell of gas, turn off the supply at the meter or cylinder. Open all doors and windows and DO NOT light cigarette or fire. Once this is done, call your gas provider’s emergency services number
- Major structural damage
- Fire – evacuate immediately and call 000
- Live, bare electrical wires that may cause shock
- Burst pipe – turn water off at the mains, contact the maintenance team immediately. If the burst pipe is outside the boundary of the property e.g. on the footpath contact the local Council
- No hot water
- Storm damage.
25. What are my responsibilities regarding looking after the property?
Both the Tenant(s) and Minda are responsible for keeping the Tenant(s) property in a good condition. Minda will supply a maintenance service during office hours, and out of office hours for emergencies only. We ask you help to keep the property in good condition by completing the following:
- Contact Minda if there are issues, such as roof and gutter leaks, dripping taps etc
- Keep gardens neat and tidy and remove rubbish
- Keep walls, floors, kitchen, laundry and bathroom surfaces clean and safe
- Do not flush sanitary items, fat, or oil down drains or toilets
- Check the hot water unit for leaks, (overflow pipes can drop from time to time)
- Report Gas/Water leaks and Electrical faults as soon as you notice them.
26. Who is responsible for connecting the water?
Tenant(s) water will already be connected. If you experience any issues, please contact Minda. You must pay for your water usage, but you may be eligible for a discount. If there are reasons why you need to use a lot of water (e.g. medical reasons) you may be entitled to further discount.
27. Are there any water restrictions?
Water restrictions can apply to all SA Water customers supplied with water from the River Murray. You will need to check with SA Water on 1300 650 950 for current water restrictions and for any rebates you may be entitled to.
Who is responsible for connecting the electricity and gas? It is Tenant(s) responsibility to have the electricity and gas connected in Tenant(s) name. If you need assistance, please ask the Minda Tenancy Officer. Some suppliers may charge a deposit fee, make sure you ask about this before you sign up with the provider.
There is an establishment/connection fee with most utilities, which you as the Tennant(s) will need to pay; it will generally be added to your first bill. If you are on a concession, you may not have to pay for, it or it may be reduced; please refer to the Applications for Concessions form.
28. What if I damage the property?
Please notify Minda as soon as any damage occurs.
You are responsible for the cost of repairing any damage (other than fair wear and tear) caused by yourself, Tenant(s) household members or Tenant(s) guests.
You may carry out the repairs as the Tenant, find your own contractor or talk with Minda Tenancy Officer who will connect you to a known and trusted repairer. If you carry out any non-trade repairs, they must meet a required standard. If you are not sure of the standard required for any particular repair, please ask the Minda Tenancy Officer. You are responsible for your own safety if you as the Tennant choose to work on the property. Any repairs not completed to the required standard will have to be re-done and you will bear the cost.
Any trade repairs (structural, electrical, plumbing or gas fitting and so on) need to be by a licensed tradesperson. If you are not satisfied with the contractors’ quality of work or their behaviour whilst in Tenant(s) home, you are encouraged to report this to Minda.
29. What do I need to consider when moving out?
You must give Minda at least 14 days’ notice before you move out, unless otherwise agreed, by completing a Termination of Tenancy Form.
Minda will be responsible for repairing any fair wear and tear (damage to the property which has resulted from age and appropriate use of the property). The property is to be left clean and tidy, otherwise you will be charged for cleaning and rubbish removal.
You will be charged for any repairs which are not considered fair wear and tear.
Rent will be charged up to and including the last day of your tenancy, and up until you have handed back the keys. You must arrange a date to hand back the keys. If you vacate and do not return the keys, a possession order on the property will be sought and you will be charged for any lock replacement costs and rent, up to receipt of the possession order.
As the Tennant(s) you will need to arrange a date and time for a final inspection. You should attend the final inspection, so you can discuss the condition of the property with Minda Tenancy Officer and discuss any issues.
30. What if my complaint involves illegal activity?
Minda is here to help you, but it will not carry out a criminal investigation. Suspected illegal activity should be reported to the police for assistance.
To log an incident report with the Police, call 131 444 and let Minda know the ‘Report Number’.
In an emergency situation you should call "000"
If you feel you are being intimidated and that this will continue to happen, then you may also be able to apply for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) through Tenant(s) local court. For further information relating to the application of an AVO, please contact your Local Police Station or Courthouse.
31. What will Minda do when they receive a complaint?
Minda does not tolerate unacceptable behaviour and will respond within established policies and procedures and the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act. However, when an antisocial behaviour complaint is received, Minda will investigate the allegation when it has been supported by one or more of the following; Police Event Number/s, Incident Diary and a Statutory Declaration.
All complaints are treated confidentially. The Tenant(s) will be advised of the investigation but the complainants details will not be provided to them. If the alleged behaviour is found to be in breach of the Residential Tenancy Agreement, the following steps can be taken:
- Surveying of neighbours to determine the impact of the reported behaviour on surrounding residents
- Requesting records of police attendances related to the reported incidents
- Monitoring the tenancy
- Referring Tenant(s)s to external support agencies for advice and assistance
- Working with Tenant(s) and external agencies to identify strategies to manage the tenancy
- Applying to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT)
Consumer and Business services (CBS) have a set process for dealing with alleged breaches of the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 ("the Act"). It is important for all parties to a tenancy agreement in South Australia to be aware of their rights and obligations to ensure they comply with the requirements of the Act.
Please note, Minda will only seek to terminate a tenancy as a last resort.
32. What can you do to assist?
People affected by antisocial behaviour are requested to keep a record of incidents including details such as:
- The date and time of the incident
- The nature of the incident
- How long it lasted
- If police attended
- Police event numbers
- How it impacted on Tenant(s) peace and privacy
- How it made you feel – scared, intimidated etc.
33. Why have some Minda Tenant(s) not been evicted for their anti-social behaviour?
All reported incidents are investigated, however we can only take action where incidents of anti-social behaviour can be substantiated and where the behaviour is a breach of the Residential Tenancy Act 1995. In some cases, a complaint may not be able to be substantiated. We must also take into account other issues affecting the Tenant(s) and the tenancy. In these cases, we may take a range of other actions to assist the Tenant(s) to change their behaviour and maintain their tenancy including referral to a support worker or agency, closely monitoring the tenancy or investigate the option of a transfer where appropriate.