This Client Service Charter outlines your rights, how you will be treated and what you can expect from us. It also sets out your responsibilities and how you can give us feedback on any aspect of our service.
The Charter describes the Tenants’ Union ACT’s commitment to ensuring that you, as a client of this Centre, have an understanding of what standards of service you can expect from us and what you can do if you think that those standards are not met.
WHO WE ARE
The Tenants’ Union ACT’s is a specialist non-profit community legal centre. We are funded by the ACT Government using funds from the interest on bonds lodged with the Office of Rental Bonds. The Centre is managed by a volunteer management committee consisting of local tenants and others with an interest in community justice.
To provide legal advice and advocacy services as well as community legal education, community development and law reform on tenancy and other related issues affecting our community in the ACT, which supplement/complement but do not duplicate existing services.
We assist tenants (in private and community housing) and occupants (living in caravan parks, student accommodation, temporary and crisis accommodation boarding houses and lodging accommodation.
- To provide free legal advice on tenancy and related law. The Centre also plays an important advisory and referral role.
- To provide ongoing casework services to eligible clients. Representation is provided on a case-by-case basis.
- To develop and conduct Community Legal Education activities.
- To utilise information from our services in law reform and general advocacy work aimed at improving tenancy law in the ACT.
- Act honestly, ethically and with professionalism at all times;
- Treat you with courtesy and understanding;
- Be sensitive to cultural and linguistic diversity;
- Ensure that our service is accessible by taking into account the location of the centre, the physical facilities provided and the hours of opening;
- Respond promptly to your request for service;
- Recognise your rights to dignity, respect privacy and confidentiality;
- Respond to your requests for information in a way that is easy to understand.
HOW WE CAN ASSIST YOU
When you contact our service seeking assistance by phone or in person,
- Make an initial assessment of the services we can provide you;
- Add you to the Tenants’ Advice Service call-back list , (if the matter is urgent – we will endeavour to make a call-back as soon as possible)
- OR refer you to another suitable source of advice and assistance if your matter is one that requires alternative specialist assistance;
- Provide you with up-to-date information in an easily understood way;
- Respect your privacy and keep your information confidential.
WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO HELP YOU:
- If you give us incomplete or inaccurate information;
- If you do not provide us with the materials or information required to effectively pursue your matter;
- If you do not provide us with truthful and accurate disclosure of all transactions, dealings, relationships or incidents that we assess as relevant to your matter including your criminal record and previous court appearances;
- If you refuse to accept our advice;
- If you indicate to us, or we form the view that you have lost confidence in us;
- Any ethical grounds which we consider require us to cease acting for you, for example, conflict of interest;
- For any reason outside our control which has the effect of compromising our ability to perform the required work within the required time frame;
- If your matter is outside our areas of expertise;
- If in our sole discretion we consider it is no longer appropriate to act for you;
- If you do not attend appointments or court appearances without making prior arrangements with us;
- If you or any other person with whom you have a family, domestic, personal or social relationship insults, abuses or uses offensive or threatening language or behaviour to any member of the staff (including any volunteer) of the Centre.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Is there someone else involved in your legal problem?
If we are going to help you, we must first check that we haven’t already helped the other person. If we have not seen the other person, we can help you.
To give clients the best service, we can only help one side. This is because the information you give us is confidential and we won’t be able to act in your best interest if we are also advising the other side.
If you came to us first and told us confidential information, you wouldn’t want us to then speak and give advice to the other side as well. If we have assisted the other person, we can’t help you BUT we will provide details of where to get legal advice elsewhere.
OUR EXPECTATIONS OF YOU
We ask that you:
- Let us know if you have any particular problems or needs;
- Give us complete and accurate information;
- Let us know if you cannot keep an appointment;
- Let us know if you change your contact details; and
- Act courteously to staff and volunteers of the Centre.
REVIEW OF OUR SERVICE
- Ensure that the Centre is managed by members of the local community;
- Give clients an opportunity to have a say about the way we provide services;
- Maintain compliance with the standards set out in this Charter and those required by the service funders;
- Regularly review our service delivery against those standards;
- Undertake to continually identify and address ways in which we can make the service better;
- Regularly liaise with our funding bodies and provide reports to ensure financial and service delivery accountability.
SUGGESTIONS, COMPLIMENTS AND COMPLAINTS
We send all clients a link to an online survey and encourage you to complete it. If you are happy with the service we provide or have any suggestions, please let us know.
If you are not satisfied or have any concerns about the service we provide you may do so in writing or verbally to;
- the staff member they were dealing with at the time;
- the supervisor of that staff member;
- the Executive Officer, or;
- the TUACT Management Committee
As far as possible, complaints will be investigated and resolved within 14 days or passed on to an appropriate body for investigation if internal processes are not adequate. Our Complaints Form is available on the Feedback and Complaints page.
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
Please contact us:
Tenants’ Union ACT
PO Box 8
Civic Square ACT 2608
Tel: (02) 6247 1026