Consumer Affairs Victoria

Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) is funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). From July 2019, specialist disability accommodation comes under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. We will be regulating the new provisions.

To receive funding to live in SDA, residents must have either:

  • extreme functional impairment that requires an SDA response, or
  • very high support needs and an SDA response is appropriate.

Within six months of the new laws coming into effect, SDA residents and SDA providers must have one of the following agreements in place:

  • a residential tenancy agreement (which gives the resident the same rights as anyone renting a standard rental property), or
  • an SDA residency agreement (which gives the resident extra rights and protections).

 For more information, see Specialist disability accommodation agreements.

Accommodation

SDA providers must make sure their specialist disability accommodation:

  • meets the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) requirements, and
  • is enrolled with the NDIS (SDA enrolled dwellings).

Resources

We will be providing support including:

  • Easy English versions of the:
    • Part 12A SDA Residency agreement and Information statement
    • Part 2 Residential tenancy agreement and Information statement
  • information so providers understand their obligations
  • help for SDA residents – and their guardians, administrators, family members, carers, advocates and anyone else providing support - to understand the resident’s rights and obligations
  • regular updates on SDA legislation.

We will continue to inspect and assess accommodation for repairs and rent increases.

Not a registered SDA provider?

Victorian providers who are not registered with the NDIA can register with the NDIS Commission from 1 July 2019. For more information about registering, visit the NDIS Commission.

There are two types of residency agreements that apply to specialist disability accommodation.

SDA residents (residents) and SDA providers (providers) can:

  • enter into or establish a Part 12A SDA residency agreement, or
  • enter into a Part 2 Residential tenancy agreement.

Both agreements have accompanying information statements. Information statements summarise residents’ rights and responsibilities for the related agreement.

What providers must do

SDA providers must give residents:

  • the related information statement seven days before entering into an agreement, and
  • a copy of the agreement.

We will provide Easy English versions of the agreements and information statements.

What to do before entering into an agreement

Before entering into either type of agreement, the SDA provider must explain the agreement and its information statement to the resident. The agreement and information statement must be explained in a way that the resident can understand. The provider can do this verbally or in writing.

The SDA resident can ask for someone to support them when the provider explains the agreement and information statement. They can choose anyone to support them – a family member, carer, guardian or an advocate.

The provider can choose a support person for the resident if the resident has not chosen one. The provider must also give a copy of the agreement and information statement to:

  • the resident’s guardian or administrator (if there is one), and
  • the support person, if it would help the resident.

Use standard form for written agreements

All written agreements must be in the related standard form prepared under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (the Act).

What providers must not do

SDA providers may be committing an offence under the Act if they:

  • do not use the standard form to prepare a written agreement
  • misrepresent how the Act applies to residents
  • misrepresent either their rights or responsibilities or those of the residents
  • threaten or intimidate residents to discourage them from:
    • exercising their rights, or
    • following through with proceedings that will enforce their rights.

Regulations specific to SDA residency agreements (Part 12A)

Providers must notify us within 14 days of entering into or establishing an SDA residency agreement.

Timeline of implementation

In July 2019, the Disability (National Disability Insurance Scheme Transition) Amendment Bill 2019 passes. In August 2019 the SDA residency agreement, and information statements for both the SDA residency agreement and residential tenancy agreement will be available. In September 2019, the Easy English versions of SDA residency agreements, residential tenancy agreements and their related information statements, and a toolkit for SDA providers will be available.In October 2019, the Easy English notices and forms will be available. In December 2019, all existing SDA residents have signed a new SDA residency agreement or residential tenancy agreement. In January 2020, the transition will be complete.

Contact us

For more information about specialist disability accommodation, call 1300 40 43 19. The line is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday - except for public holidays.

Calling us costs the same as a local call. Extra charges may apply if you are calling from overseas, on a mobile or payphone. For other options including the National Relay Service, see Contact us.

Keeping up to date

To stay informed about the SDA implementation process, subscribe to our email updates