Megan's story - keeping Megan in her home
Keeping Megan in her home
Megan was referred to IMCL by her clinician at a local mental health service. She had been receiving treatment for a number of years for schizophrenia.
Megan was a public housing resident and had been in her property for several years. She reported that while unwell, she attended her local Housing Office and requested the immediate termination of her tenancy. The Housing Office contacted Victoria Police, who attended and assessed that Megan did not require hospitalisation. The attending police officer subsequently assisted Megan in completing a notice to terminate the tenancy with immediate effect and it was processed later that day.
Megan’s clinician subsequently made a number of representations on her behalf to the Housing Office seeking to reinstate her tenancy but was unsuccessful. As a result, Megan was left homeless and spent several nights couch surfing and in crisis accommodation.
Megan instructed that she had not wanted to terminate her tenancy and only did so as a direct consequence of her illness. IMCL contacted the Housing Office who maintained that the tenancy had been terminated by competent consent. IMCL escalated the matter to a team manager, highlighting concerns that the termination was accepted and processed immediately, without the usual 28 day notice period being afforded. IMCL stressed that it was inappropriate for a police officer to make an assessment of Megan’s capacity to give consent, and that a termination should not have been readily accepted in circumstances which rendered Megan homeless. IMCL advised that an urgent application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal may be made on Megan’s behalf if the matter could not be resolved.
Within two days of Megan’s first meeting with IMCL, the tenancy was reinstated and she could collect her keys and return home. In addition, the Housing Office implemented a system for regular meetings with Megan and her clinician to better manage her tenancy. IMCL’s close relationship with community agencies was a key factor in the efficient and holistic resolution of Megan’s case.