Streamlining Agreements: Victorian SDA Residential Agreement and Information Statements Released
- Information Statements and SDA Residential Agreement now available on the CAV website.
- All SDA providers must enter into an agreement with their residents by no later than 31 December 2019.
- All NDIS providers need to have a Service Agreement in place with each participant to meet the NDIS Terms of Business and NDIS Practice Standards.
- For SDA participants, these Service Agreements must include various additional specific terms and must be signed.
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is the new Victorian SDA regulator. CAV have now released the Specialist Disability Accommodation Residency Agreement and Information Statement, along with an Information Statement for SDA participants entering into a standard Residential Tenancy Agreement. These documents are now available on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website, along with other information and resources. All SDA providers must choose which agreement best suits their property and issue each SDA tenant with the appropriate Information Statement at least seven days prior to entering into that agreement. The SDA provider may choose which lease agreement to offer their SDA tenants, choosing from either the SDA Residential Agreement which reflects many of the additional safeguards offered previously under the Disability Act 2006 and now incorporated into Part 12 A of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, or offer tenants a standard Residential Tenancies agreement. Regardless of the agreement chosen, SDA providers must adhere to conditions set forth by the NDIA, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and Consumer Affairs Victoria.
To do so, SDA providers must meet conditions of the NDIS Terms of Business, the NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators including the additional SDA supplementary module along with those in the Information Statement and agreement developed by Consumer Affairs Victoria. Each agency presents its own set of terms and conditions, rights and responsibilities, which must be communicated to the participant in the language and mode of communication which that participant is most likely to understand.
Many, but not all, terms included in CAV’s Information Statements and agreements address conditions set out in the NDIS Terms of Business and NDIS Practice Standards in relation to Service Agreement inclusions and areas requiring participant consent. NDS is exploring how SDA providers might make additions and/or amendments to the Information Statement and agreements to include additional required terms with the aim of streamlining agreements while meeting a provider’s compliance obligations under the three bodies: NDIA, the NDIS Commission and Consumer Affairs Victoria.
NDS is currently working on this analysis and will update the sector accordingly. In the meantime, SDA providers should be considering which lease arrangement they will offer and ensure the required policies and procedures are ready to be included as attachments. Stay up-to-date with information from Consumer Affairs Victoria, including their soon to be released easy English versions, by subscribing to their dedicated SDA newsletter.
If you have a question regarding SDA please post it on the NDS Helpdesk.
NDS SDA Reference Group
As previously advised, NDS will be working closely with DHHS and CAV in the coming months to provide input on the new regulatory framework. We will also develop resources and host metropolitan and regional forums to assist providers.
Members are welcome to join our online NDS SDA reference group to provide advice on draft materials and to identify emerging issues or concerns regarding SDA regulation. Please contact Savannah Jewell if you wish to join this group.