Responsibilities of SDA residents during a residency

Skip listen and sharing tools

On this page:

What are my responsibilities?

Your agreement and information statement tell you what you need to do. They also explain what your provider can and cannot do. For more information, view Responsibilities of providers.

During the residency, you must:

During the residency, you must not:

  • do anything illegal in the property
  • make other residents or staff at the property feel unsafe
  • keep a pet if your provider and other residents do not agree.

What happens if I do not do what I am supposed to?

If you do not follow the agreement or rental laws, your provider can give you a Breach of duty notice.

Breach of duty

What is a breach of duty?

A breach of duty is when you do not follow the agreement or rental laws. If this happens, your provider can give you a Breach of duty notice. This notice explains:

  • the issue or ‘breach’ and
  • that you have 14 days to either fix the issue or pay compensation.

To see what this notice looks like, download the Breach of duty notice to SDA resident (Word, 678KB).

When can I get a breach of duty notice?

You can get a breach of duty notice if you:

  • create a fire, health or safety hazard in the property
  • damage or destroy any part of the property
  • damage the property and do not pay for repairs
  • do not pay rent
  • install something in the property without your provider’s written permission
  • keep a pet without your provider’s written permission
  • do not let your provider enter the property.

What happens if I do not do what the notice says?

If you do not fix the issue or pay compensation within 14 days, the provider can apply to VCAT for a hearing. VCAT may:

  • give you an order to fix the issue or pay compensation, or
  • decide there was no breach, and the provider should not have given you the notice.

A VCAT order is legally binding. This means you must do what it says.

When should you not get a breach of duty notice?

Your provider cannot give you a breach of duty notice if you damage the property:

  • through normal use of any aids or equipment, such as a wheelchair
  • through fair wear and tear
  • accidentally.
Example 1

Your provider let you have a puppy in the property. Your puppy scratched the walls and some of the paint came off. Your provider gave you a Breach of duty notice asking you for money so they can repaint the wall. You are responsible for any damage caused by your pet or anyone you invite over. You give your provider the money within 14 days.

Example 2

Your provider gave you a Breach of duty notice because your wheelchair damaged the carpet in the living room. The notice asks you to replace the living room carpet. You do not have to replace it, because the damage was caused by equipment you need to help with your disability.

Can I give my provider a breach of duty notice?

Yes, you can give your provider a breach of duty notice if:

  • they do not treat you with dignity and respect
  • they do not install things you need to help you in daily life
  • they do not give you privacy
  • the property is not maintained properly
  • the property is not secure
  • they do not try to reduce your inconvenience or disruption from repairs or renovations
  • renovations take too long or are not done by qualified tradespeople
  • they unreasonably refuse to let you keep a pet.

You must use our Breach of duty notice to SDA provider (Word, 670KB).

They must fix the issue or pay you compensation within 14 days. If they do not do this, you can apply to VCAT for a hearing. Visit VCAT.

House rules

House rules are guidelines to help you and other residents live in the property peacefully. House rules may cover:

  • the use of shared facilities, such as the living room, kitchen and bathroom
  • you and the other resident’s responsibility to keep the property clean.

Where can I find the house rules?

Your provider should attach any house rules to your agreement.

They must explain the house rules to you in a way that you can understand. If you have a support person, you can ask them to help you understand the house rules.

What happens if the house rules change?

If the provider changes or updates the house rules, they must:

  • give you and your support person (if you have one) a copy of the updated house rules at least 14 days before they come into effect, and
  • explain the updated rules to you in a way you can understand.

Can the house rules take away my rights?

No, house rules cannot take away any of your legal rights. If you think a rule is unreasonable or takes away your rights, speak to the provider and your support person (if you have one). If this doesn’t work, you can apply to VCAT who will decide whether the rule is acceptable.