1 www.bhcl.com.au TENANT HANDBOOK
2 BHC Tenant Handbook Welcome to your new home! Dear Resident, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to your new home. I hope you have a long and enjoyable tenancy with BHC. With this handbook, you will find lots of information that you’ll want to know about your new home. This is a reference guide for everyday questions you may have about your tenancy. Our website is also a valuable source of information including updates for your tenancy and information on community events. We encourage you to visit it at www.bhcl.com.au. If you have any questions after reading through your pack, please don’t hesitate to contact your Housing Manager on (07) 3307 3000 or email reception at email@example.com. We are happy to be of assistance. Yours Sincerely, Rebecca Oelkers Chief Executive Officer
3 www.bhcl.com.au ABOUT US YOUR TENANCY YOUR HOME COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND ENGAGEMENT OTHER INFORMATION About BHC Our promise to you Our expectations of you 5 7 7 9 10 11 12 13 13 Moving into your new home How to pay your rent Renting with BHC Sustaining your tenancy Annual income and assets review Routine inspections Keys and locks Lock changes - DFV Maintenance and repairs Modifications to the property Employee and contractor safety Keeping a pet Car parking 15 15 16 18 18 18 20 What does it look like? Resident voice and engagement How else does the BHC develop community 23 24 25 Announcements and emergency information Complaints Privacy Important contacts Contact us 27 27 28 30 32 Contents Tenant details Tenancy Agreement ID Your Address Your Housing Manager Housing Manager Email @bhcl.com.au
4 BHC Tenant Handbook About us
5 www.bhcl.com.au BHC is a leading provider of affordable housing with a demonstrated ability to deliver innovative social and affordable housing. Since incorporation in 2002, and as a registered Tier 1 Community Housing Provider (CHP), BHC has a well-earned reputation as a solid and reliable organisation, built through effective working relationships and a personalised approach to customer service. Our core business is housing and asset management of our wholly owned 1,400 affordable housing properties. In addition, our experienced team have undertaken property development and project management to create a number of awardwinning homes for Queenslanders from all walks of life. BHC is governed by an experienced skill based Board of Directors, chaired by Eloise Atkinson. CEO, Rebecca Oelkers, leads a dedicated team of employees. We pride ourselves on working in close partnership with local communities, service providers, charities and government to provide homes that are secure and affordable. As a not-for-profit company limited by shares, BHC gains great strength from the diversity of its shareholding organisations. The BHC shareholders hail from for-profit, not for profit and governmental sectors and all share a commitment to the provision of leading edge affordable housing and mixed tenure developments. BHC shareholders comprise of: • Queensland Government • Brisbane City Council • Property Council of Australia • Australian Property Institute • Planning Institute of Australia • Q-Shelter • Communify Queensland • Churches of Christ Queensland • Centacare In the spirit of reconciliation, BHC acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today. Our organisation is a place where human rights are respected and people of diverse genders and sexual orientation are welcomed and supported.
6 BHC Tenant Handbook
7 www.bhcl.com.au Our vision Creating Homes Empowering Lives Enabling Transformation Our promise to you Good service is our promise to you. BHC will do our best to provide you with good service by: Showing you respect • Inform you of decisions affecting your tenancy • Provide prompt service Being honest and acting with integrity • Provide accurate, complete, timely and clear information • Follow through and doing what we say we will do • Acknowledge and fix mistakes Valuing differences • Work in a non-discriminatory, judgement free manner • Provide services that are sensitive to your needs • Discuss your housing options and choices • Work with you to find the best housing solution Our mission BHC’s vision is delivered by building and maintaining quality affordable homes for people in need and engaging with and supporting people to sustain their tenancies. Our expectations of you Be respectful towards your Housing Manager, BHC staff and contractors. We are here to help. • Be a good neighbour - respectful, reasonable with noise, tidy • Meet your tenancy obligations of paying rent on time, maintaining the property appropriately, reporting issues as required BHC will not tolerate behaviour towards our staff and contractors that is: • Aggressive; • Offensive; or • Disrespectful
8 BHC Tenant Handbook Your Tenancy
9 www.bhcl.com.au Moving into your new home BHC will manage your tenancy consistent with the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (RTRA Act). As a part of your new tenancy, you should have a Tenancy Agreement, also known as a Lease (Form18a) or a Rooming Accommodation Agreement (Form 18). You should also have been provided with a Pocket Guide for Tenants – houses and units (Form 17a). Your Housing Manager has provided you with a copy of the Entry Condition Report (Form 1a). This is an important document which helps if there is a dispute over your bond for the premises. It is proof of the condition of the premises before you started living there and will be compared with the Exit Condition Report (Form 14a). It’s best if you complete your part of the report as soon as possible so you can record the condition of the premises at the start of the tenancy. You must return the completed and signed copy of the Entry Condition Report (Form 1a) to your Housing Manager within 7 days. When leaving the property, an Exit Condition Report (Form 14a or FormR1 for a Boarding Room) needs to be completed by you as the tenant, signed and given to your Housing Manager. You can ask your Housing Manager for a Form 14a to be sent to you or you can download from www.rta.qld.gov.au/formsresources/forms. You must return the property in the same condition as when you moved in (fair wear and tear excepted). Avoid marking walls with tape, blu-tack, stickers, nails or hooks. You will be responsible for any damage caused and will have to pay for the repairs. Insurance is important BHC encourages all tenants to obtain contents insurance cover for possessions and valuables. BHC insures the property against damage, but this only covers the building, not contents. You are responsible for insuring your belongings against any loss or damage. Low cost insurance options are available for low income households. Please ask your Housing Manger for more information. Don’t forget! Once you have moved in, it is important to let people know you have moved. This might seem obvious, but it is surprising how many companies and people you know! • Post Office • Electricity/Gas • Centrelink • Phone Company • Banks • Doctors • The Australian Taxation Office • Department of Transport • Electoral Commission • Employer/Superannuation Fund • Medicare • Schools • Dentist Scan QR code to visit site
10 BHC Tenant Handbook How to pay your rent At the start of your tenancy you will have paid two weeks rent. Please arrange continued payments through Centrepay or a direct deposit from your bank account. For bank transfers or bank deposits, quote your Tenancy Agreement ID (see front of this booklet). It is important that you record and keep your payment receipt number. The payment receipt number is needed to verify proof of your rent payment in case of any errors. Centrepay Contact your Housing Manager to arrange a recurring deduction to be paid from Centrelink directly to BHC. Direct deposit Account name: Brisbane Housing Company BSB: 034 000 Account number: 27 13 91 Reference: Your Agreement Number or your full name If you are more than 7 days in arrears, a Notice to Remedy Breach may be sent, along with a letter outlining the details of the arrears. If you are not able to pay your rent, you need to contact your Housing Manager immediately to discuss the problem. Your rental ledger shows the balance of your account (in much the same way as a bank statement) and lists all charges by BHC and payments made by you from the start of your tenancy. You can request a rental ledger from your Housing Manager at any time during your tenancy. Commonwealth Rent Assistance BHC tenants who also receive some form of Centrelink benefit are generally entitled to receive Commonwealth Rent Assistance. It is a tenant responsibility to organise this payment. Options include signing into your MyGov account, Centrelink App on your phone or visiting a Centrelink office. You will need to provide proof of your rent (for example, a copy of your Tenancy Agreement with BHC). We encourage you to do this as quickly as possible after you have signed your Tenancy Agreement.
11 www.bhcl.com.au Renting with BHC BHC’s rental policy BHC sets rent for self-contained accommodation at up to 74.9% of market rate, ensuring affordable accommodation for your household. Rent for BHC boarding room accommodation is kept in line with the rent for similar accommodation. Whilst rent is dependent on the type of unit and location, it is kept within an affordable level for most household types. This rental policy has been designed to provide affordable homes to low income households and ensure BHC’s ongoing financial viability. Rent will likely increase on an annual basis, but will stay no more than 74.9% of the current market rate. You will always be notified in writing (in advance) of any rent increases. There are a small number of properties within the BHC portfolio which have alternate rent policy arrangements; these include Opal, Specialist Disability Accommodation, specific apartments which addressed under-occupancy. Please speak to your Housing Manager if you would like additional information. Capping of rents Rental caps are determined based on average affordability ranges on an annual basis. Capping rents allows BHC to balance financial needs and the standards of living for tenants. The BHC Rent Setting Policy may change over time. Whilst BHC will try to inform tenants of any changes, it is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure they are well informed.
12 BHC Tenant Handbook BHC hopes tenants will have a long and successful tenancy. We believe sustaining a tenancy allows for people to reach their potential. Meeting your tenancy obligations such as keeping rent in advance, looking after the property, being a good neighbour and working respectfully with BHC will contribute to a positive tenancy outcome. Where you think you may not be able to meet your tenancy obligations, please talk to your Housing Manager as we may be able to assist. Support BHC encourages tenants to discuss issues that may be impacting upon their tenancy with BHC or their Housing Manager; we may be able to assist you directly. In other cases, we will be able to provide contact details for support or advocacy agencies, who can provide the household with assistance. We also publish details from time to time through our newsletter, the Bugle, and on our website and social media. Some contact details are included towards the end of this handbook. Neighbourhood and Community Centres provide a welcome space, connections, programs and services in their local area. Look for a Neighbourhood Centre in your area, or get in touch with our ResidentConnect Team for details of the Centre closest to you. Breaches of tenancy If for any reason you breach your Tenancy Agreement, BHC or your Housing Manager will notify you formally via a Notice to Remedy Breach (Form 11) . Where matters are not remedied, become ongoing or are of a serious nature, BHC may also request you enter into an Acceptable Behaviour Agreement or may issue a Notice to Leave or seek to have the tenancy finished through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). Disagreement with Notice to Remedy Breach Any tenant has the right to challenge a breach to their Tenancy Agreement. However, it is recommended that the tenant/s first discuss the matter with their Housing Manager to resolve the issue before approaching the Residential Tenancies Authority’s (RTA’s) free dispute resolution service. Should a tenant wish to apply for a dispute resolution, they can do so by filling out a Dispute Resolution Request and sending it to the RTA. The tenant will then be contacted by the RTA to discuss the dispute (available on the RTA website or phone RTA 1300 366 311). If the matter is unable to be resolved, a Notice of Unresolved Dispute will be issued to the tenant. It is at this time that the tenant may decide to apply for the dispute to be heard at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). ResidentConnect Our ResidentConnect Team can assist you to link with services and organisations which may be able to support you in terms of your well-being, sustaining your tenancy or raising genuine concerns. Additional information about ResidentConnect is on page 25. Make contact with us by phone 3007 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sustaining your tenancy
13 www.bhcl.com.au Annual income and assets review BHC will conduct annual Continuing Eligibility reviews to ensure that household income and assets do not exceed the eligibility limits prescribed by the BHC Continuing Eligibility Policy. When requested, you must provide BHC sufficient evidence of, and adequately answer questions about, the household’s income and assets for the purpose of eligibility reviews. Your household may be required to provide evidence in respect to income, employment or other documents such as tax returns and bank statements. Refusing to provide such documentation on request is a breach of the Tenancy Agreement. Please be aware that, if two successive income reviews determine the household income exceeds the eligibility limits; BHC may issue the tenant with a Notice to Leave, requiring that the tenant vacate the premises within two months. When it is determined a household assets situation exceeds eligibility; BHC may issue the tenant with a Notice to Leave. Routine inspections BHC will carry out routine inspections in accordance with the provisions of the RTRA Act. The RTRA Act specifies notice periods and other entry requirements. A routine inspection will not occur more often than every three months. Tenants are required to allow BHC reasonable access to the premises to conduct routine inspections with or without the tenant being present. BHC may take photographs during routine inspections as a record of property condition. Holidays Please notify us if you plan to go on a holiday for more than two weeks. If you are not paying rent by Centrepay deductions, please have a system set up to ensure rent is paid on time.
14 BHC Tenant Handbook Your Home
15 www.bhcl.com.au Keys and locks Your Housing Manager has provided you with the appropriate number of keys required for the premises. Should you lose your keys you must replace them at your cost. You may want to have a spare set of keys for your home and keep them in a safe place, with a trusted friend. This would assist to avoid costly after hours call outs for a locksmith if you happen to misplace or lose your keys and need access to your home. Contact your Housing Manager and they will be happy to help you with the purchase of keys. In some circumstances, BHC will approve for small key safes to be installed. Please speak first to your Housing Manager. All issued keys are to be returned at the end of the tenancy. Where this does not occur the tenant will be charged for lock and key replacement. Lock changes - domestic and family violence The Queensland Government has made changes to give tenants experiencing domestic and family violence more options to manage their tenancy arrangements and enact plans to end the violence. If you are a tenant experiencing domestic and family violence you can change the locks to your rental property without consent, but you must provide copies of keys or access codes to the rental property owner or manager as soon as practicable. As BHC is on a master key system, if a lock change is required due to a domestic and family violence situation - contact your BHC Housing Manager to organise and we will change the locks without charge. For more information on this please speak to your Housing Manager. If you need support for domestic and family violence, the contact information for DV Connect for Women and DV Connect for Men is included towards the end of this handbook.
16 BHC Tenant Handbook Maintenance and repairs Scan QR code to view form How to report maintenance or repairs Urgent repairs Non urgent repairs During business hours After hours For after hours emergencies call the BHC office on (07) 3307 3000, for after hours emergency contact phone number. Please call or email your Housing Manager. If you’re unable to reach your Housing Manager, please call our reception team on (07) 3307 3000 who will ensure you are linked with a staff member who can assist. In the event that you have a non urgent repair • Email your Housing Manager; or • Fill in a Non Urgent Repair Advice Form (available online: bhcl.com. au/tenants/current-tenants/repairsmaintenance/) and send to your Housing Manager via email or place in the Administration letterbox for collection by your Housing Manger; or • Phone your Housing Manager. • Risk of fatality or serious injury • Building insecure after forced entry • Gas leak or exposed electrical component • Flood from water, sewerage or storm • Blocked or broken toilet • Serious roof leak • Failure or breakdown of gas, electricity or water • Fault or damage to essential service or appliance • Fire alarm • And other urgent repairs • Dripping taps • Faulty stove • Faulty light fitting or power outlet • Leaking shower sill • Damage caused by an emergency repair • Non working range hood • Leaking gutters or downpipes • Loose internal door handles • Kitchen cupboard doors not closing properly • Internal doors not closing properly • And other non urgent repairs
17 www.bhcl.com.au Our response to maintenance issues We take pride in maintaining BHC properties as safe and functional and encourage you to raise maintenance issues or concerns with us. We work closely with contractors to provide a quality response to repairs and maintenance. Whilst time frames for repairs may vary depending on the circumstances, including the availability of tradespeople, we will always aim to respond within a reasonable time. Tenant Charges Tenant charges will occur when damage happens or repairs are required if they are caused by the tenant or household, visitors, pets or if access has been forced (such as police requiring urgent access as part of their role). Even though charges may apply, please still report damage to BHC, as our preference will be to ensure repairs are undertaken appropriately and to work with you around payment, such as through a payment plan. Please note that lockouts are the responsibility of tenants Locking yourself out is not considered an emergency repair and in the event that you do so, you will need to contact a local locksmith to gain entry at your own expense. It is important you ensure the locksmith does not change the locks, you are only to gain access at this time. Lock changes and new keys will need to be done through your Housing Manager. Maintenance self help The following may assist you to solve some maintenance problems before reporting them to your Housing Manager: No electricity • Check if street light or neighbour’s lights are working as there may be a general black out. • Check the switchboard – units have an internal switchboard – check the main switch is in the ‘on’ position • Check the Safety switch is in the ‘on’ position • Check that all the circuit breakers are in the ‘on’ position If the Safety switch is ‘off’ unplug all electrical items in the property. • Turn Safety switch on • Then plug electrical items back in one by one • If the power goes out after plugging one particular item in then you have a faulty electrical appliance, unplug this appliance and then turn the Safety switch back on If you have carried out the above and you still are unable to get power call your Housing Manager. Toilets If the cistern is continually running, turn off the tap under the cistern. The toilet can still be flushed by allowing the cistern to fill, then turning the tap off again. You can also flush the toilet by using a bucket of water. Report the problem to your Housing Manager during office hours. Water leaks It is recommended that you know where the main isolation valve is located in your unit in order to turn off water in the case of a leak. Generally they are under a sink or in the laundry area. You can always check with your housing manager to assist you to locate where it is.
18 BHC Tenant Handbook Planned maintenance From time to time, BHC conducts planned or cyclical maintenance. These include refurbishments such as bathrooms, kitchens, roofs and floor coverings, stemming from end of life or wear. Fire Safety Please make sure you are aware of fire exits and evacuation assembly areas. Please report any broken or missing equipment to us. We conduct at a minimum annual inspection of smoke detectors. Some apartments have fire doors, and these will also be inspected regularly. For most properties, we coordinate an annual evacuation drill, and whilst participation is voluntary, we strongly encourage you to participate. Tampering with smoke detectors or other fire equipment will put your tenancy at risk. Please take all due care to minimise any risk of fire. • Have a fire blanket and small fire extinguisher in your apartment • Never leave cooking or any open flame (eg. candles or oil burners) • Clean lint from clothes dryers each time it is used • Do not overload power points and switch off points not in use • Ensure your apartment is not cluttered and exit paths in your apartment are clear • Do not smoke in bed * *Please do not smoke inside your apartment. Smoking causes damage to the property and you will be held responsible for that damage. Call 000 in an emergency. Lithium-ion Batteries – E-Bikes, E-Scooters and other Light Electric Vehicles (LEV) Fire, explosion, radiation, heat, chemical and electrical risks are associated with LEV’s. If you charge an LEV in or around your apartment, you are responsible for its safety. In some complexes, we may have designated areas for charging devices. Please ensure you research safe charging. Some measures to minimise risk include: • Do not leave LEV batteries/devices unattended whilst charging. • Disconnect from the charger as soon as fully charged. • Purchase from reputable manufacturers and supplies. • Use only chargers supplied with the device, or certified and compatible third-party charging equipment; using with the incorrect voltage or current can lead to fires. • Check chargers bear the Regulatory Compliance Mark to show they meet Australian Standards. • Ideally charge devices outdoors and definitely not on combustible or insulating surfaces (eg beds, sofas, carpet, blankets, paper). Regulatory Compliance Mark
19 www.bhcl.com.au Modifications to the property If you wish to make any change and/or modification to the property, you must gain BHC’s written consent before going ahead with the alteration/ change. Requests are to be submitted in writing to your Housing Manager via the Modification Application Form. Please do not proceed with the modification until you have received written approval from BHC. Depending on the type of modification, BHC may place particular conditions on the approval, including the use of a licensed contractor or requirement that BHC inspects the work when completed or removal at the end of tenancy. Modifications include but are not limited to, installation of hand rails and fixing items to walls. If changes are made to the premises without BHC’s written consent, BHC reserves the right to request the premises be taken back to the original condition within 14 days at the tenant’s cost. Requests for modification due to disability or mobility issues Some tenants, due to aging or progression of a physical disability, may require modifications to their home to support them to continue to live independently. If you require modification to your home, which is being carried out by a home modification service, you must provide a written request to BHC seeking approval to allow the modification to take place. Your Housing Manager may be able to assist you in finding relevant access to home modification services which provide support for your needs, if provision and assistance has not already been made. Employee and contractor safety The safety and well-being of staff and contractors is important to BHC. We are sensitive to the fact that some tenants may have a preference for shoes to be removed for religious or other purposes. However, for workplace health and safety reasons, our staff and contractors are required to wear footwear within the tenancy. We ask that tenants also contribute to safety and well-being, for instance through respectful interactions, restraining dogs during inspections, minimising trip hazards. Applying and keeping a pet At BHC, we recognise the importance of pets, and we are supportive of tenants wishing to have a pet, where we can. Please view our website before bringing a pet into your home. BHC first requires a pet application and will advise you if your application is approved and what the conditions apply. Pet applications may only be submitted online via our website, or email to email@example.com or to our head office (GPO Box 544, Brisbane QLD 4001). Please do not provide a pet application to your housing manager or the letterbox of a building complex. Scan QR code to visit site
20 BHC Tenant Handbook What should I consider before getting a pet? While planning to add a pet to your home can be exciting, it is important to ensure that you are 100% ready for the commitment. Pets require time, money, effort, and lots of love. We recommend that you look through RSPCA’s guide for whether now is the right time to have a pet in your life. Briefly though, before moving in a pet consider • How much time you can spend looking after the pet • How much money you are willing to spend on their care e.g. food, vaccinations, vet fees, council fees • Grooming required for the pet • Space for the pet Additional information More information around applications, expectations, documentation, emergency plans, documentation and consequences of breaches is included on the BHC website and you may also speak to your Housing Manager for information and assistance. Scan QR code to view RSPCA’s guide
21 www.bhcl.com.au Car parking BHC’s resources are focused on providing affordable housing, and as such, the majority of our properties have limited car parking. We understand you may need to own a car in order to live the life you wish and that consequently you may require appropriate access to parking. We will ensure information about car parking arrangements are made clear during your initial interview with your Housing Manager. Allocated parking Some buildings have allocated parking available. A car park fee is charged to tenants at the discretion of BHC and reviewed periodically for this service. Any tenants parking on BHC property must provide their vehicle registration details and the make and model of their vehicle. This allows BHC to ensure vehicles are parked in the allocated space and no breaches have been made. Please note that there is usually a wait list for allocated parking. Please notify your Housing Manager if you wish to be considered for future car parks. Allocations for parking will be based on a combination of need and length of time on the waiting list. Use of service bays Service bays may only be utilised by BHC staff, Housing Managers, tradespeople working on site, emergency service vehicles and registered businesses with professional carers. Towing vehicles BHC has contracts in place with a registered towing company which allows any vehicle breaching car park management rules to be towed from the premises. Towing notices with the towing company’s phone number are visible in all BHC car park facilities. Impounded cars will be released to owners at their own expense. Only nominated BHC representatives are authorised to ring the towing company and have a car impounded. Enquiries regarding car parking arrangements in your building should be discussed with your Housing Manager. Personal property in common areas Common areas in the complexes includes foyers, halls and walkways, elevators and common BBQ and gathering spaces; they are for easy access, enjoyment and importantly for safe exit. Personal property may not be left in common spaces; this generally includes pot plants and door mats outside the property. Property that is left in common areas may be removed by BHC, and charges may be passed onto the tenant responsible or BHC may issue notice to remedy breach.
22 BHC Tenant Handbook Community Development and Engagement
23 www.bhcl.com.au Through Community Development centred programs and initiatives, we aim to support residents across the BHC portfolio to thrive, reaching their personal goals and enhancing their wellbeing. The BHC Community Development Team strive to encourage positive connections for residents in their communities, create open and respectful communication pathways, and seek to ensure residents have access to services and supports available in the wider community. What does it look like? Community Engagement: We work with residents to identify community needs within a BHC building, for example, supporting health, wellness, or social initiatives that facilitate ongoing resident and community engagement. Community Development: By facilitating connections between residents and their local neighbourhoods, BHC strives to create thriving, healthy communities. As such, BHC continues to work with local and state services to ensure the appropriate and continuous support and connection for our residents with their local neighbourhoods and community. Economic Participation: BHC has a dedicated Resident Participation and Employment Coordinator who works with individuals to identify their employment, training, education, and volunteer goals. We do this through a variety of aspiration assessments, goal setting, confidence building, employment and participation placements, and ongoing development and mentorship. If you are interested in gaining more information for any of the above please contact BHC and speak to the Community Development Team.
24 BHC Tenant Handbook There are opportunities for residents from across the portfolio to work collaboratively with BHC. Initiatives aim to benefit residents, develop and strengthen communities across BHC properties and support meaningful engagement between residents, BHC, and members of the wider community. Recent initiatives have included: • Community Welcome Packs for new residents • Social activities run by residents for residents to promote positive communities • Providing feedback directly to BHC around policies, procedures, and general service provision • Working alongside BHC to provide resident voice and perspective You are welcome to become involved. If you would like to hear of current initiatives, contact BHC’s Community Development Manager by phone (07) 3307 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Resident voice and engagement
25 www.bhcl.com.au The Bugle The Bugle is a resident focused newsletter which shares; BHC updates, upcoming events, important information or interesting content relevant for residents. If residents would like to contribute to the Bugle (e.g. a short story, poetry, artwork or even a book or movie review), please contact us through email@example.com Impact Grants Under the BHC Impact Fund, we currently offer a range of grants available to residents. These grants are aimed to assist BHC residents experiencing financial hardship to reach their potential and overcome barriers in specific areas, such as digital inclusion, education / training / employment, connection to community and general wellbeing. For more information about the different grants, eligibility and how to apply, visit the BHC website Alternatively, speak to your Housing Manager or a member of our Community Development Team for more information. BHC Socials Follow us on social media and check out the BHC website to stay informed. We post regularly about important resident and tenancy information, local events and services, community info, giveaways and more! Like and follow us on: ResidentConnect ResidentConnect was first established during the Covid-19 Pandemic to assist BHC residents to access up-to-date information about supports, services, Government guidelines and more. Since then, ResidentConnect has continued to evolve and continues to assist BHC residents with information about and connection to local services, emergency relief and community resources which can support residents with their specific concerns or needs. If you would like to contact ResidentConnect you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call BHC on (07) 3307 3000 and ask to speak to a member of the ResidentConnect team. How else does BHC develop community Scan QR code to visit site @brisbanehousingcompany @bhc_communities
26 BHC Tenant Handbook Other Information
27 www.bhcl.com.au Announcements and emergency information From time to time, BHC will place announcements and information about emergency responses on our website. Information such as changes to office hours and how we are responding to flooding or cyclone emergencies may be included on the website page. Complaints Complaints and feedback allow us to continually improve and monitor our customer service with tenants and relationships with service providers. Neighbourhood disputes or complaints BHC provides independent affordable accommodation for tenants who are able to manage independent living. It is therefore an expectation that a tenant is able to initially work towards resolution when conflict arises with another tenant. BHC is unable to intervene in disputes among tenants and residents unless it is within the remit of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. Complaints around illegal activity should be reported to Queensland Police. Complaints around excessive dog barking or dangerous dogs should be referred to the Brisbane City Council. If the situation is one where violence is occurring or is threatening please contact police; in an emergency dial 000. It is also important to then report the incident (illegal activity, violence or threatened violence, or dog matters) to the Housing Manager. Please state the issue clearly in writing, including a description of the incident, dates, times and order in which they happened. Another option is to seek assistance to resolve the neighbourhood dispute through the South Queensland Dispute Resolution Centre (see Important Contacts in this booklet). This a free service from the Queensland Government and offers neighbourhood mediation. Complaints about BHC If you are dissatisfied with the service we have provided or a decision that has been made, we encourage you to raise this with us. Informal Resolution: In the first instance, please speak to your Housing Manager to endeavour to resolve the matter informally. Often additional information or an explanation can clarify the situation and an understanding or agreement can be reached. A tenant may phone or email their Housing Manager to start this conversation. Formal Complaint: If the matter is not able to be resolved informally, please submit a formal complaint to BHC. This can be submitted via email to email@example.com or via our postal address. Please contact us if assistance is needed in writing the complaint. In most situations, this complaint will be addressed by the relevant Housing Manager.
28 BHC Tenant Handbook • Please state the issue clearly in writing, including a description of the incident or concern, dates, times and circumstances • BHC may need some time to address the matter and may need to speak with you and others who were witness to the incident and able to support your complaint • You may be involved in the process of resolution and your input on how you feel it is best to resolve the matter will be considered • Once BHC has gathered all the information, a decision will be made on the best course of action to deal with your complaint. BHC will respond in writing to formal written complaints Review of Complaint: If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you may request a review of your complaint. To request a review, please submit your complaint marked to the attention of the Tenancy Services Manager. A review of a complaint will be undertaken by someone who was not the original decision maker and is a senior member of staff. The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) can assist with information and processes around tenant rights and obligations. NDIS-related complaints If you are an NDIS participant and are not happy with the way we have handled your complaint you can contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (see Important Contacts on page 31 in this booklet). A copy of the BHC Complaints and Feedback Policy may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. au or calling us on 3307 3000. Anonymous complaints Tenants are able to submit anonymous complaints and these will be investigated, though we may be limited in our ability to investigate or advise the complainant of any outcome. Privacy All applications for housing go through an approval process, which involves access to your personal information by BHC. Your personal information is collected in a fair, lawful and non-intrusive manner. Personal information is any information about your identity that is apparent or can be reasonably ascertained. Your information is collected by BHC if it directly relates to the administration of providing and managing housing for eligible households. Types of personal information that may be collected includes your name, contact details, household type and size, date of birth and income status. What we do with your personal information • Use it to carry out our responsibilities under funding agreements and relevant legislation • Inform statistical analysis to monitor and evaluate our services • Notify the State Government when your household is adequately housed BHC takes measures to detect and prevent the fraudulent use of your personal information.
29 www.bhcl.com.au Disclosure of personal information BHC will disclose information in accordance with our Privacy and Confidentiality Policy, where you have consented to such disclosure. BHC may also disclose personal information if required by law. Correct and secure personal information BHC will take all necessary steps to ensure your personal information is used and disclosed in an accurate manner. This includes confirmation that information is up to date and complete. Personal information is stored safely and protected by BHC from misuse, loss, unauthorised access and modification. Your personal information You can access your personal information by sending us a written request. If at any time you believe our records are inaccurate, incomplete or out of date, you may write or email us a request to change your personal information. You may request from your Housing Manager, in writing, a copy of BHC’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy at any time free of charge. Privacy complaints If an individual or organisation has a complaint about any privacy matters with BHC, the complaint will be dealt with through the BHC Complaints and Feedback Policy and reviewed where necessary by the Privacy Officer.
30 BHC Tenant Handbook Important contacts Emergencies Fire, Ambulance, Police Ph: 000 Police Link Ph: 131 444 www.police.qld.gov.au/policelink-reporting Support services Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Ph: 3240 8900 www.atsichsbrisbane.org.au Communify Qld (including Sustaining Tenancies Program) Services and support for mental health, aged care, NDIS, emergency support and more Ph: 3510 2700 communify.org.au DV Connect for Women Ph: 1800 811 811 www.dvconnect.org/womensline DV Connect for Men Ph: 1800 600 636 www.dvconnect.org/mensline Footprints Ph: 3252 3488 www.footprintsinc.org.au Inala Indigenous Health Service Ph: 3101 4222 www.health.qld.gov.au/iihs Lifeline Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention Ph: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au Micah Projects Support and advocacy services Ph: 3029 7000 micahprojects.org.au MIFQ - Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland Response for people living with mental illness and their family/friends; NDIS provider Ph: 3358 4424 www.mifq.org.au Multicultural Development Australia (MDA) Support service for refugees, international students, people seeking asylum and migrants Ph: 3337 5400 My Aged Care Ph: 1800 200 422 myagedcare.gov.au Narcotics Anonymous Ph: 1300 652 820 www.na.org.au Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) Ph: 3252 8566 or 1300 363 783 qdn.org.au Safe Space Network After hours support if feeling distressed Bardon Safe Space, 180 Jubilee Terrace, Bardon Ph: 3004 0101 communify.org.au/safe-space Scan QR code to visit site
31 www.bhcl.com.au Salvation Army: Brisbane Recovery Services Centre (Moonyah) Residential rehabilitation Ph: 3369 0922 South Queensland Dispute Resolution Centre Resolving conflict; mediation; dispute resolution Ph: 3239 6007 or 1800 017 288 StandBy - Support After Suicide Person-centred support and follow-up Ph: 0438 150 180 - contactable 24/7 E: email@example.com www.standbysupport.com.au Stepping Stone Clubhouse Pathways for better mental health Ph: 3847 1058 www.steppingstoneclubhouse.org.au St Vincent De Paul (Vinnies) Seeking assistance (food, clothing, furniture, household items) Ph: 3010 1000 or 1800 VINNIES (1800 846 643) www.vinnies.org.au Wesley Mission Queensland Ph: 1300 541 626 www.wmq.org.au Other useful contacts Anti Discrimination Commission Queensland Ph: 1300 130 670 www.adcq.qld.gov.au National Regulatory System for Community Housing Ph: 3013 2666 www.nrsch.gov.au NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Ph: 1800 035 544 or TTY 133 677 Post: PO Box 210, Penrith, NSW, 2750 QSTAR (Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service) Ph: 1300 744 263 qstars.org.au Queensland Human Rights Commission 1300 130 670 www.qhrc.qld.gov.au Queensland Ombudsman Ph: 3005 7000 www.ombudsman.qld.gov.au Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) Ph: 1300 366 311 www.rta.qld.gov.au TIS National (Translating and Interpreting Service National) Ph: 131 450 Tenants Queensland Free advice for tenants Ph: 1300 744 263 www.tenantsqld.org.au
32 BHC Tenant Handbook Contact us General enquiries Phone: (07) 3307 3000 Fax: (07) 3839 2000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit us BHC Head Office is located at: Level 17/333 Ann Street Brisbane City QLD 4000 Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm Postal address BHC Creating Liveable Communities GPO Box 544 Brisbane QLD 4001 Website www.bhcl.com.au Feedback email email@example.com Created 2019 - V1.0 June 2023bhcl.com.au