3 Comments Wills, probate, letters of administration, powers of attorney
They do have extensive powers as a result of several tragedies in recent years, if they receive advice that a private residence is being used illegally for such a purpose they need to investigate promptly, however if the advice given to them was incorrect, you could make a FOI request to find out who made the report and take action against that person. However if the information was incorrect the chances are that the contact information will also be incorrect. See a solicitor to see if there is anything else you can do.
I think you may need to look at the bigger picture on this one, fire safety is important in boarding houses, especially cheap ones, also some residences are used illegally for such purposes. The fire service had been given the task of keeping check on such establishments, imagine the outcry if another tragedy occurred and it came out that a report had been made and the officer responsible for the inspection had failed to inspect because the place was being used illegally.
You may have right on your side however the court of public opinion would put a greater right to inspect on the shoulders of the fire officer. Undoubtedly if the law does not cover the situation you complain about now, eventually it will.
Thank you for your reply, I am very interested to hear other points of view. Yes there is a need to clean up illegal backpacker accomodation, but do you really think its ok to enter private homes by force. Remember the people renting these homes do so to get away from overcrowding, high bed rentals, to gain privacy and security, where they can work for whom they wish without being told to leave. Istead they find that 3 public servants can arrive and barge into their home, a home they thought was secure and private. These public servants help themselves to the bedrooms unaccompanied, photograph personal belongings, secretly record conversations, show no ID, leave no paperwork. Like thieves in the night they come and go without trace.
Yes there is a greater good, but this is not Nazi Germany and our public servants are not storm troopers, innocence should always be assumed until proven otherwise, they should ring for an appointment, even though this brings on a risk of evidence being hidden, then show ID, show paperwork and then inform that they may return at any time under the act.
Remember if someone puts you on one of these address lists these officers will arrive at your home in numbers, enter in home invasion style, tour your house, enter your wife and childrens bedrooms (they dont even knock, if you were to then catch them inside as I did, I wonder what your reaction would then be, would you still be thinking of the greater good.
I had to face my tenants and explain to them what had happened and that apparently in Australia they can be violated in this way.
My tenants told me they were upstairs, heard a noise and found the officers downstairs inside the house, when I tackled these people's superior he claimed they asked permission to enter, he did not even listen to the tape or impound it...
Once again, I know there is a greater good, but is this really the way to achieve it. I am still interested in the actual correctness of the action, does 55 (2A) give the right of entry or not.?
This doesn't particularly make sense to me. As far as I am concerned, you would be more than entitled to refuse entry without them first showing legal basis for entering. Police use a little thing called a warrant.
If they just came in, I would certainly be calling the police and report trespassers. No government officer can forcibly enter private dwellings without lawful excuse (eg. warrant/statutory permission to enter). If they do have the express power under legislation to enter, I would suggest they would first have to show ID as a minimum.
Of course they could ask if they could enter, and if you let them in, then they could of course come in.
afroman 2009-06-09 01:49:48