Making a complaint

Registrars have powers to investigate complaints about the compliance of registered community housing providers with community housing legislation.

The NRSCH requires that housing providers be 'fair, transparent and responsive’ in ‘managing and addressing complaints and appeals relating to the provision of housing services’.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the standard or type of service provided by a registered community housing provider where a response is sought or reasonably expected.  This includes dissatisfaction with:

  • standard of service
  • actions or decisions
  • inaction or delay
  • policy or processes.

What is not a complaint?

  • an initial request for a service or action
  • request for information
  • formal request for a review.

A complaint is different to a request for a review

Complaints are different to appeals. An appeal is a request for a review of a decision to provide or not provide a service.  For example a request for a review maybe lodged when an application for transfer to another dwelling is declined or if you feel that your rent subsidy has not been calculated correctly based on your housing provider’s policies.

Supporting evidence and information

Complaints and allegations should be supported by evidence and/or supporting statements from witnesses, where possible. Registrars recognise that this is not always possible and that sometimes complainants may wish to remain anonymous. While complaints can still be progressed with little supporting evidence, the nature of the complaint and the evidence that supports it will influence how a complaint or allegation is progressed.

Investigation of complaints

One of the functions of a Registrar is to investigate complaints about the compliance of housing providers with the National Law. Registrars will assess complaints and prioritise them according to their urgency and seriousness including assessing them to see whether they:

  • fit within the Registrars scope
  • are minor in nature and do not require the Registrar’s involvement, or
  • are more appropriately dealt with by another body.

The purpose of an investigation is for the Registrar to gather evidence to determine compliance or non-compliance with the National Law. In some instances we may need to put an investigation on hold while we wait for another body to deal with all or part of the complaint so that outcome can be taken into account.

Registrars or their delegates will attempt to advise complainants of the outcome of these considerations, or any investigations that have been undertaken, within 30 days of receipt of the original complaint, or earlier if the matter is deemed to be urgent.

Outcome of investigation

Once the evidence obtained during the investigation process has been considered by the Registrar, the matter will be closed with one of the following outcomes:

  1. no further action – if the housing provider demonstrates it is complying with the National Law, or if the housing provider provides evidence of an effective response to the allegations of non-compliance
  2. review as part of scheduled compliance assessment – if there is an indication of non-compliance by the housing provider and the appropriate timeframe for review is at the next scheduled compliance assessment, or
  3. compliance assessment – if there is an indication of non-compliance that warrants immediate regulatory engagement with the housing provider.

If non-compliance is found then the Registrar may exercise their enforcement powers under the National Law.

Online form

The National Regulatory System for Community Housing online form can be used for: 

  • General enquiries on the registration process
  • General feedback on the NRSCH
  • Provider notifications
  • Complaints about a registered providers

Last updated:

10 Aug 2022

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.

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