Appeal looms on home ruling
The NT Government is preparing to argue against higher housing standards.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that homes in the remote NT community of Santa Teresa should not just be ‘safe’, but also ‘humane and reasonably comfortable’.
Supreme Court Justice Jenny Blokland’s judgment spelled out clear conditions for the Government to provide remote community renters.
“The assessment of whether the premises were habitable should have included not only the health and safety of tenants but an overall assessment of the humaneness, suitability and reasonable comfort of the premises,” she said.
The improved standard was welcomed by many, as it may have led to upgrades for Government houses.
But the NT Government Department of Housing is going to appeal.
The Government is preparing to argue that this part of Justice Blokland's ruling was wrong.
“The learned judge erred in construing section 48(1)(a) of the Residential Tenancies Act by holding that ‘habitable’ requires an overall assessment of humaneness, suitability and reasonable comfort of the premises judged against contemporary standards,” one of the grounds of its appeal states.
Chair of Aboriginal Housing NT Leanne Caton said she is disappointed.
“Everyone's got their rights and if the NT Government's choosing to do this, then so be it,” she said.
The NT Government is also planning to appeal a ruling that found it owes compensation to residents for periods when rental properties were in disrepair.
No date has been set for the appeal hearings.