Class action investigation announced over housing justice for Aboriginal tenants in remote communities

Posted: November 13th, 2023

Law firm Slater and Gordon have announced they are investigating a potential class action on behalf of thousands of tenants living in substandard public housing throughout remote Aboriginal communities.

The announcement comes after a landmark High Court decision that found a tenant living in the remote Central Australian community of Santa Teresa can sue their landlord for distress and disappointment over the failure to carry out repairs.

The case was argued by Australian Lawyers for Remote Aboriginal Rights (ALRAR), who Slater and Gordon have now teamed up with to visit several remote communities in WA and investigate properties they believe are unfit for habitation under residential tenancy laws.

The proposed class action will seek improvements to public housing in remote communities across WA, as well as financial compensation for the thousands of Aboriginal tenants who have been living in substandard properties.

The proposed claim would seek damages related to breaches of contract, including:

  • repayment of rent where the property was not reasonably comfortable or safe
  • the inconvenience experienced by tenants dealing with housing issues
  • incurred expenditure to rectify housing issues that tenants had paid for, and
  • disappointment and distress caused by housing issues.

YMAC will continue to provide updates on any potential class action lawsuit to our members and relevant PBCs.