Territory Stories

Annual Report Commissioner of Consumer Affairs 1990-91 and Annual Report Consumer of Motor Vehicles Dealers 1990



Annual Report Commissioner of Consumer Affairs 1990-91 and Annual Report Consumer of Motor Vehicles Dealers 1990

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Tabled Paper 1022


Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Daryl Manzie


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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TENANCY DISPUTES AND STATUTORY DETERMINATIONS The Tenancy Act provides a means by which tenancy disputes can be settled by way of statutory determination without reference to court The current legislation is essentially directed at residential tenancies although the provisions relating to recovery of premises also apply to business premises. The Act provides for a Commissioner of Tenancies and his delegate, appointed by the Minister. The Commissioner has primary responsibility for such matters as the determination of fair rent and setdement of disputes related to security deposit monies. Withholding of a tenants security deposit by a landlord continues to be the most common tenancy matter referred to the Office of Consumer Affairs. There are only three reasons why these deposits can be withheld and these must be substantiated by the landlord: unpaid rent; premises left unreasonably dirty; or making good any damages. Under the Tenancy Act, the delegate of the Commissioner of Tenancies made 42 determinations regarding the disbursement of security deposit monies in this period. The Act provides for an appeal against determinations made by the Commissioner, or his delegate, to the Local Court. Only one appeal was lodged within the period and this matter was withdrawn. As intended, the number of appeals against statutory determinations have greatly reduced over the last 5 years which indicates an improved administration of the associated provisions. The Tenancy Act also enables the Commissioner to determine fair rents and 3 requests were received and determined during this period. A serious increase in the time taken to determine Tenancy matters is continuing to develop due to the reduction of staff. A single Tenancy Officer serviced the Territory up to this year but tenancy matters have been incorporated within the general disputes area since the ERC cut to staffing. The statistical record of tenancy matters for the 1990/91 period is shown at appendix A. CLOSURE RESULTS OF DISPUTES SETTLED Uniform descriptions for the results of consumer disputes are identified in the NCCSS. The broad categories are: Redress, No Redress and Referred/Advised to Another Agency. The following Groupings describe the results of the 480 disputes settled this year. The outcome of the conciliations performed by Consumer Affairs officers is an important performance indicator of the effectiveness of the Dispute Resolution service of the program. This year, the redress rate displays a continuation of the high level of performance of officers engaged in this area of work. 24

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