Appeals Process

The appeals process

The Department of Communities understands that the decisions it makes can affect its customers.

The appeal process allows you to have an unfavourable decision made by the Department reviewed.

There are two levels of appeal:

Tier 1: An internal review by a senior Department officer who was not involved in the original decision making process. 

Tier 2: An appeal hearing by the Regional Appeals Committee.

The appeals process is there to make sure that decisions can be independently reviewed by people who were not involved in the original decision.

You can lodge an appeal within 12 months of the decision being made by the Department.

Decisions you can appeal

You can appeal an unfavourable decision that relates to:

  • your rental housing, priority assistance or transfer application
  • bond assistance
  • assessment of tenant liability charges.

If your appeal relates to a decision about a home loan, please contact Keystart on 1300 578 278.

Decisions you cannot appeal

Some decisions made by the Department cannot be appealed, such as:

  • decisions that apply generally to all customers (e.g. market rent increases and subsidy percentage rates)
  • decisions made more than 12 months ago
  • decisions which are or have been the subject of a Notice of Termination or strikes issued under the Disruptive Behaviour Management Policy
  • decisions reached through legal action
  • decisions made by the Western Australian Ombudsman
  • decisions made by the Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal
  • Water Consumption charges as they are not determined by the Department of Communities
  • decisions to end a tenancy due to tenant no longer being eligible for public housing
  • decisions to end a tenancy due to being offered alternative social housing premises
  • decisions to not allow another tenant to be added to a tenancy. ​

How to appeal

Lodge a written request by completing the Housing Appeals Mechanism Request Form sent to you with the original decision. The Form is also available from your local Housing Office or the Housing website​.

The Department can provide a list of welfare and community agencies that can provide independent advice and help you to prepare your appeal.

To ensure all of your concerns and circumstances are taken into account, the Department recommends you provide any relevant information such as medical reports and support letters when you lodge your appeal.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 you may apply to the Department for copies of documents relating to your case.

Tier 1: Internal review

Tier 1 appeal is a review by a senior Department officer who was not involved in the original decision making process.

Your case will be reviewed to see if:

  • all relevant facts have been considered
  • the decision was reasonable given your circumstances
  • sufficient evidence was available to reach the decision
  • the original decision should be overturned.

You may be asked to provide extra information during this process.

Tier 2: Regional Appeals Committee

If unsuccessful at Tier 1, your appeal will be referred to Tier 2 to be reviewed by a Regional Appeals Committee.

You will be invited to attend the hearing so you can discuss your case. The Department recommends that you bring someone along to help you – this may be a friend, family member or someone who has been helping you with your situation.

The Regional Appeals Committee will ask you questions to make sure that all the issues are understood. After hearing your case the Regional Appeals Committee will look at all of the facts before reaching a decision.

Interpreting services

If you require an interpreter for your Regional Appeals Committee hearing, please contact your local Housing Office​.


The Regional Appeals Committee hearing will be held at a Department of Communities office. If you cannot attend the hearing in person, you may request a telephone conference.

Further action

If you disagree with the outcome of your Tier 2 appeal, the Department will advise you of the most appropriate agencies to contact. Relevant agencies may include:

  • the Magistrates Court
  • Western Australian Ombudsman
  • Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal
  • Equal Opportunity Commission.

Please contact your local Housing Office you have any further questions.