Under Part 3 of the Housing Improvement Act 1940 (SA), local councils have powers to declare a house undesirable or unfit for human habitation. The consequence of a declaration under Part 3 could be either a requirement to undertake repairs to bring the house to a reasonable standard or an order to demolish the house. Under Part 7 of the Housing Improvement Act 1940 (SA) , Housing SA also has powers to declare a house undesirable or unfit for human habitation. The consequence of a declaration under Part 7 could be that a rent control is applied to the property. This limits the maximum rent that can be charged for the property and an owner can be prosecuted for charging rent in excess of the controlled rent.
Housing SA has responsibility to monitor private sector housing conditions so that a reasonable standard of housing is maintained across the whole community. Under the Housing Improvement Act 1940 (SA), authorized officers of Housing SA may inspect any premises (privately owned) at any reasonable hour to assess the condition of a property. Where a house is determined to be sub-standard according to the Housing Improvement (Standards) Regulations 1992 (SA) the house can be declared sub-standard.
After a house is declared sub-standard, Housing SA can apply a rent control to that house, which prescribes a maximum rent that can be charged. Owners can be prosecuted for charging in excess of the controlled rent.
Private rental tenants who have been unable to resolve property condition matters with their landlord, or through the Tenancies Branch can contact the Housing Improvement Branch for more information:
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