After The Mugging, The Letter

Pt. 1 of a 3 part story

On the 18th of May 2018, a letter was prepared and sent to to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal regarding a  breach or breaches of the NSW Residential Tenancy Act 2010. These breaches are alleged to have been perpetrated over a period of time by NSW Housing staff at Wyong in NSW and MNI Electrospark who supplied contractors to the apartments in question.

The breach of contract is by property managers and maintenance contractors

Family and Community Services. Wyong Office
Suites 4&5, Wyong Plaza Village,
36 Alison Road
WYONG
02 4352 4400

in conjunction with;
MNI Electrospark
10 Rosedale Ave,
Greenacre NSW 2190
1300 884 152

Orders sought are

187(1)a An order that restrains any action in breach of a residential tenancy agreement.

187(1)d An order as to compensation.

187(1)e An order that the party takes steps as the order specifies to remedy a breach of the tenancy agreement.

The expanded orders as I see it.

I ask an order be made for the contractor mentioned in the complaint to be banned from the property. I call to your attention his dishonesty and abusive behaviour in visiting the apartment randomly and then using that as an excuse to breach the resident. His identity is not known to me but will be on the documents of the property managers.

I ask an order be made declaring a visit by the contractor on the 20th of April is a true inspection visit. I ask that any negative reports regarding contractors who may consider slips of paper as a formal attempt to communicate a need for entry be expunged.

I ask for an order to be made forcing Family and Community Services as well as MNI Electrospark to recognize the resident as a severely ill and vulnerable person and that they be forced to act accordingly.

I ask that this activity by the managers and contractors be recognized as part of a longer term pattern of abuse and intimidation forcing the resident to purchase and then place CCTV covering every part of the property

I ask for an order where I am compensated for the cost of cameras and equipment as well as time and suffering in installing them on some standard rate that considers the job was done by a handicapped person.

I ask that an order be made forcing the respondents to correct the electronic records and any other records they have made concerning this resident.

The Story behind the claim

On the 14th May 2018 a letter with a Family and Community Services letterhead arrived at the tiny, social housing, apartment containing Weblight Studio and the resident Stephen Solomons.

The letter read “Housing NSW and our maintenance trade have made several attempts to advise you that we require access to your property and you have not responded to these requests.” (letter is supplied as attached pdf file)

This was confusing as a representative of Housing and their trades group had visited the apartment on 20th April 2018 and the only appointment previous to that was one the Housing representative did not attend. There were no known attempts to get appointments in 2018 apart from one dated 16 Jan which is included as a pdf

Inquiries made to both MNI Electrospark, and Housing NSW at Wyong, over the phone on the 16th May uncovered the fact that the representative visiting on the 20th April claimed he had been blocked from entering. After the phone staff had been advised there are CCTV recordings of his entry and of his time in the apartment. There is a crisp image of his back as he marches up the driveway complaining bitterly about cameras.

Here the phone staff changed their story. They claimed the resident was told he was not allowed to have CCTV on while staff were in the apartment and when he didn’t stop filming the staffer left.

Phone staff insisted the resident was not allowed to have CCTV operating without notifying their visiting staff and asking permission. Phone staff became very disturbed when they were informed that there was a Surveillance Devices Act and it didn’t say that. They hung up!

Housing have been informed several times that there are CCTV cameras inside the residence and without! (The Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW) section on optical devices will be respectfully included as a pdf. file)

Further enquiries indicated that the same staffer had randomly visited the apartment on the 24th January 2018 and also on the 30th January 2018, leaving slips of paper somewhere on or near it.

This also is untrue. On the afternoon of 23rd of January 2018 a letter, appearing to be hand delivered and signed by a client liaison officer, informed the resident there was to be an inspection the next day. He had already organized the hire of NDIS carers to take him out. He rang Housing (or MNI) and asked they reschedule which they agreed to do. The next letter seems to have been for the inspection on 20th April. (pdf.file of 23rd Jan. letter also attached to file) This period’s lack of attention from Housing was probably because the Housing staff expected the tenant to evicted at the  NCAT hearings.

No expectation of slips of paper left on the property to inform him access was desired were raised. No messages were found on the answering service and no letters or emails are known to indicate Housing was considering these events. There were many such random visits to the apartment seen by other residents. There were no more after CCTV was erected over the door.

Housing were informed a considerable time ago the resident is often in a deep sleep during the day as he suffers pain and other conditions that may keep him awake for many days. They were informed when he is home he does not answer the door to unexpected visitors as he is often in bed and can take a long time to overcome the effects of medication. He uses a radio as a white noise generator to level the outside audio interference of other residents and cars on the nearby street.

Housing NSW in conjunction with MNI Electrospark seem to have decided that the delivery of slips of paper, and a visit where the representative carried out his tasks but was unhappy, are enough to invoke The Residential Tenancy Act 2010 (NSW.) Part 3. Division 4. Section 55. 1c.

Access generally by landlord to residential premises without consent

(1) A landlord, the landlord’s agent or any other person authorized by the landlord may enter residential premises during a residential tenancy agreement without the consent of the tenant, and without giving notice to the tenant, only in the following circumstances:

(a)in an emergency,

(b)to carry out urgent repairs,

(c)if the landlord, landlord’s agent or person has made a reasonable attempt to obtain entry with consent and has reasonable cause for serious concern about the health or safety of the tenant or any other person that the landlord, landlord’s agent or person believes is on the residential premises,

They have decided not only can they force entry if they wish but can now justify a second visit within a month as well as labeling the resident in some further unfavourable manner in the records.

I suggest their behaviour is abusive. It is dishonest and shows an incredible lack of respect for anything even resembling The Residential Tenancy Act 2010 (NSW) or The Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). It shows contempt for the resident and for the law. It is a knowing denial of the community expectation towards institutions with power over the vulnerable and their homes.

I believe the Wyong office of Housing NSW and their partner MNI Electrospark behaviour in this report is an extraordinary breach of contract in contravention of-
The Residential Tenancy Act 2010 NSW. Part 3. Division 2. Section 50. Clauses 1 and 2.

Tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment

(1)A tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the residential premises without interruption by the landlord or any person claiming by, through or under the landlord or having superior title (such as a head landlord) to that of the landlord.

(2) A landlord or landlord’s agent must not interfere with, or cause or permit any interference with, the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant in using the residential premises. Maximum penalty: 10 penalty units.

(3) A landlord or landlord’s agent must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the landlord’s other neighbouring tenants do not interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant in using the residential premises.

(4)This section is a term of every residential tenancy agreement.

I feel certain that the activities by these officers with regard to this resident constitutes some breach of Fair Trade or ASIC agreements while the changing of electronic client records to create the appearance of negative situations must be illegal. I understand that in the case of MNI Electrospark it is the directors who are held to be responsible.

The apartment is a thirty (30) square meter brick box in a line of brick boxes. There is no urgency and has never been any threat to the building that would justify the constant desperation and intensity of the attention from Housing NSW

The letter was created after a phone call to NCAT. In that phone call the writer spoke to a female staffer who informed him he should not send money until the registrar had sighted the letter and approved its passage further up the chain. The staffer also informed him that provided his snail mail had all the details requested by the form to be found on the website it would be correct

There were a number of PDF files attached to the letter but none increase the reader’s depth of understanding or need be mentioned. None of the videos mentioned in the letter or held by the resident were forwarded at this stage