Tenants must pay two weeks rent in advance at the time they sign their lease and continue to be two weeks in advance throughout the tenancy.
We will request that you sign an information confirmation consent form so we can confirm your income at the start of your tenancy and for subsequent rent reviews. You can also give consent for us to vary your payments following a rent review, changes to your income, or when entering into a repayment agreement.
If you are a Centrelink customer, our preference is for tenants to make their weekly or fortnightly rent payments through the Centrepay deduction scheme.
Rent can also be paid by depositing funds into the Metro bank account on line, at any Commonwealth (CBA) bank, or at our office. If paying at our office you will be issued with a rent receipt in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act.
If paying on-line or at a bank please ensure you use your agent number, full name or full address so we can identify the payment as belonging to you.
WHAT IS THE NSW CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL (NCAT)?
NCAT is a specialist, independent tribunal which is accessible and aims to resolve disputes in a timely and cost effective manner.
NCAT deals with a range of consumer, tenancy and administrative law matters but the Tenancy Division deals specifically with any breaches of, or disputes about issues covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.
All Metro tenants sign a Residential Tenancy Agreement with Metro as the Landlord. In the first instance we will always try and resolve issues with you directly but if we are unable to resolve a dispute directly with a tenant we will make an application to NCAT.
We generally make applications to request formal orders in relation to rent or water arrears, property care, interfering with the right to “quiet enjoyment” of neighbours, claims for end of tenancy cleaning or repair costs, or consent to enter a property where the tenant is refusing access.
Once an application has been lodged you will receive written notice from the Registrar giving you the place, date and time of the hearing. Hearings are held at various locations across Sydney.
What if my rent is in arrears?
If the rent payments fall more than 2 weeks in arrears you will be sent a reminder notice by Metro Housing along with a request to contact the office to arrange a repayment agreement for the amount of the arrears owed.
If you do not repay the amount in full, or make an arrangement to repay the arrears Metro Housing will seek an order from the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for an agreement with you to repay the rent arrears.
If this agreement is not complied with, and/or renegotiated, Metro Housing will seek an eviction order from the Tribunal and you will be asked to leave the Co-op.
What is the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)?
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal is a specialist, independent, accessible Tribunal for the fair and timely resolution of residential disputes according to law.
When disputes between Metro Housing Co-op and Metro Housing tenants cannot be resolved by negotiation, they are referred to the Tribunal for a hearing. The Tribunal will then make an order resolving the matter in either the tenant’s or the landlord’s favour.
What is a Tribunal Hearing?
The Registrar of the Tribunal sends you a notice to attend a hearing about 7 to 14 days after receiving an application for an order. Hearings are held at a place near the rented premises. The notice sent by the Registrar tells you the place, date and time of the hearing.
How do I prepare for a hearing?
The Tribunal deals with matters promptly. This means that you must be able to attend a hearing 7 to 21 days after an application is made to the Tribunal, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Be well prepared for your hearing.
Take time to consider all the issues for your case before the hearing and to gather all the necessary information.
Think about what outcome you would like and consider what you can offer to pay. Prepare a budget before you go.
Take written proof of the tenancy such as:
a copy of your tenancy agreement;
copies of all correspondence between you and Metro Housing;
copies of rent receipts and rent records;
copies of notices which increase rent.
Can someone represent me at a hearing?
Usually you must represent your own case at a hearing, but the Tribunal may let you be represented by a legal advocate. Contact a Tenancy Advice Service if you would like to be represented.
What if I’d like an interpreter at a hearing?
If you need an interpreter it is wise to contact the Tribunal immediately so arrangements can be made.
What happens at the hearing?
At the first hearing your matter will be one of several matters listed at the same time – this is called a group hearing. If both parties are in attendance, the Tribunal member will ask the applicant (the person who applied to NCAT) and the respondent (the person that the application relates to) to attempt to come to an agreement through conciliation. A conciliator is generally available to provide assistance to the parties to reach an agreement.
Be prepared for the hearing by ensuring you take all necessary documents with you such as rent statements, bank payment records, photographs, correspondence from/to Metro. At conciliation both parties will be reminded that they may need to compromise and perhaps “meet in the middle”. It is important that you have considered and are clear about what you are willing or are not willing to agree to.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement it is almost certain that the Tribunal will adjourn the matter for a formal hearing – generally this will be listed 4-8 weeks later, and the Member will also make directions for the parties to exchange documents in support of their case.
CAN SOMEONE REPRESENT ME AT A HEARING?
Generally, it is expected that the parties will represent themselves but there is often a duty solicitor present to assist tenants. If the matter is adjourned for formal hearing a tenant advocate will generally be able to provide you with representation.
You can also obtain general advice about your matter from the Tenant Advocacy Service in your local area.
WHAT IF I REQUIRE AN INTERPRETER?
If you are making the application on-line there is a section where you can request an interpreter for a specific language. Metro will try and ensure we request an interpreter when required but always check with NCAT to ensure one has been booked as soon as possible after you receive the listing notice.
As your payments are based on your income which changes over time, the Co-operative conducts income and rent reviews every six months, in accordance with our funding requirements.