Conditions of Residency for MRS Accommodation sites

CONDITIONS OF RESIDENCY FOR MRS ACCOMMODATION SITES

Monash Residential Services (MRS) provides a living and learning environment for the Monash University Community in which residents are required to act with the best interests of fellow residents in mind.

By accepting an offer to take up residency, MRS residents agree to respect the basic philosophy of MRS and agree to comply with the standards, terms and conditions outlined in the Residential Community Standards.

Section A. Living in a residential community

As a member of the MRS residential community, residents' behaviour should not impact adversely on the living environment of the MRS community.

Tolerance, acceptance, and respect for others and their rights and freedoms are a primary concern, as is the protection of their health, wellbeing, and personal safety. Living in a residential community requires an attitude of acceptance, an ability to compromise and seek the common ground and for all residents to contribute to and support a residential community that meets the MRS Mission Goals.

The establishment and maintenance of a strong sense of community requires careful thought and deliberation by all members of the residential community. Questions which we ask members of the residential community are:

  • How do we define acceptable behaviour?
  • What are behaviours which I require of others in a community, and what behaviours of mine should they reasonably expect (knowing there will always be compromises in both my expectations of myself and of others)?
  • How do we identify and clarify the tolerance threshold for resident behaviour?
  • At what point does an individual's eccentricity and our own deference to tolerance give way to the need for containment and control?
  • How do we understand the difference between unacceptable behaviour and an unacceptable resident?

An appropriate answer to these questions might be as simple as "when the behaviour has a negative impact on others".

Section B. Noise

By far the most common complaint in a communal residential setting is noise.  As such, all MRS residents are expected to ensure that noise is kept to a minimum. Noise which is disruptive to others is prohibited both inside and outside Monash University’s residential halls/studios/apartments, including the courtyard and surrounding areas.  Courtesy and consideration for others is expected at all times. If noise is reasonably deemed to be bothering one person (taking into account the time, place and type of noise), it is too loud. If noise can be clearly heard outside a resident's room, it is too loud. Residents are expected to respond courteously to requests to reduce noise and to act courteously if any approach is made by another resident and/or their visitor/guest with a request for noise reduction.

Section C. Child Safe Standards

MRS is committed to the safety and protection of all children and young persons involved in MRS activities. It is important that children feel and are safe, and their voices are heard on decisions that affect them.  All individuals representing MRS have a responsibility to understand the role they play to ensure the safety, protection and empowerment of children. This includes our commitment to protect children from abuse, including physical violence, sexual abuse, serious emotional or psychological abuse and serious neglect. For further information, refer to Monash University’s Child Safe Standards Framework.

Part 1 - Preliminary

Section A. Jurisdiction

The Residential Community Standards apply to MRS residents:

  • whilst on MRS or Monash University property; or
  • whilst attending events sanctioned or organised by MRS or individual residences; or
  • where behaviour by a resident outside MRS facilities that seriously impacts the safety or wellbeing of another resident/s with MRS facilities; or
  • in relation to the behaviour of residents on digital media, where the behaviour and impact can be clearly linked to the residential community (see for example section 13.2(g)).

Section B. Definitions

Assistance Animals” means assistance animals as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) that are trained to alleviate the effect of the disability (noting that the courts have distinguished between comfort/companion animals which by their mere presence may alleviate stress or anxiety and assistance animals which are specifically trained to alleviate the effect of a disability, and that this definition only applies to the later).

"Director MRS" means the person occupying or acting in the position of Director of Monash Residential Services from time to time or their representative or nominee.

“General Misconduct” means conduct which is contrary to accepted standards of behaviour as defined in the Monash University Council Regulations, Part 7, Regulation 30(3)).

"Head" means the Head of a Residence (Urban Community, Residential Village) at the Clayton Campus, Peninsula Residential (or any person acting in such position from time to time).

“Resident’s accommodation” means in a traditional Hall of Residence (Halls in the Residential Village Clayton Halls), a resident’s bedroom; in the case of a shared apartment (South East Flats and Peninsula Residential), a resident’s bedroom; and a studio apartment (Urban Community Clayton and Peninsula Residential).

“MRS” means Monash Residential Services, an operating division of Monash University.

“Residential Community Standards” means these requirements set out in these Conditions of Residency; residential site handbooks published on the MRS website; MRS rules, policies and regulations published on the MRS website; the Residency Agreement between the resident and MRS; and applicable provisions of the Monash University Statute, its regulations and policies and procedures, all as in force from time to time.

“Responsible Officer for General Misconduct” means the member of staff of the University who is specified by the Vice-Chancellor as the responsible officer for general misconduct.

Part 2 - Residency Agreements

Section 1 - General Requirements for Residency Agreements

General eligibility for residency at MRS accommodation is governed by the MRS Admissions Policy.

By entering into a Residency Agreement, residents agree that:

1.1 No person shall be considered for residency in an MRS accommodation complex if they have previously been evicted from MRS accommodation or have received two formal written warnings regarding their behaviour during a previous residency period in an MRS accommodation complex or equivalent in a Monash Accommodation Services accommodation complex. Special consideration may be given to previous residents or a resident who has received two formal warnings, referenced in this paragraph 1.1 on a case by case basis at MRS’ absolute discretion.

Allocation of accommodation

1.2 Individual resident accommodation allocations are made at MRS' absolute discretion (including studio apartment accommodation, where residents may select specific studio apartments as part of the application process).  At any time during a resident's residency, MRS may transfer the resident (without giving reasons) to another accommodation in either the same residential complex or other MRS accommodation provided the other MRS accommodation complex is located at the same campus. Residents will be given reasonable notice if MRS intends to transfer the resident to another accommodation.

In the event of an emergency, MRS reserves the right to transfer residents to another MRS accommodation site located on any Monash University campus. This ensures the safety of all residents and ensures the emergency is dealt with in a prompt and effective manner.

1.3 Offers of residency, the allocation of accommodation and the rights of residents to occupy or continue to occupy any accommodation at a MRS accommodation complex are governed by the MRS Admissions Policy.

Length of the Residency Agreement

1.4 All accepted offers of residency are valid for the term contained in the Residency Agreement between the Resident and MRS.

1.5 All residents are required to vacate their accommodation by the end of their Residency Agreement, remove all of the tenant’s property and return the accommodation and MRS property in a clean, tidy and vacant condition and otherwise in the same condition as at the Commencement Date (fair wear and tear excepted). If the resident has entered into a new Residency Agreement and MRS has confirmed that the resident is permitted to continue occupying the accommodation then this clause 1.5 will apply at the end of that further right to occupy.

Summer period

1.6 Residents who wish to extend their stay over the summer period (being December and January) must apply for permission to do so by completing a summer application online. Residents should consider that annual maintenance takes place during the summer period and, as a result, services provided to residents are reduced and residents may be required to move to another resident’s accommodation. Noise levels from maintenance works may increase during this period, and residential programs reduce for residents who stay over summer. There is no reduction in accommodation charges to residents during this period. All residents must sign a Residency Agreement to stay over this summer period.

Section 2 – Debt to MRS

2.1 A resident who has not paid rent within 7 days of the due date, will be given a notice to vacate. If MRS does not receive full payment of the overdue account by the due date specified in the notice to vacate, then the Residency Agreement will terminate and the resident will be required to vacate their accommodation and leave the accommodation in a clean and tidy condition.

2.2 If as a result of an overdue account or misconduct a resident is required to vacate their accommodation, the resident will remain responsible for the payment of rent for the duration of their Residency Agreement or until such time that a suitable resident takes over occupation of the accommodation (whichever comes first).

2.3 In accordance with University PolicyIf you don't pay your residency account fees, which includes any charges or fines, we place an encumbrance on your Monash account.  This means you won't be able to access library, computer or enrolment services.  You cannot see your exam results, request academic records (transcripts) or graduate… To remove the encumbrance and have access to services, you will need to pay your debt in full.

Section 3 – Additional Costs and charges

3.1 Residents must:

a) treat all furniture, furnishings and property belonging to MRS with consideration and care and pay for the replacement and/or repair costs of any damage the resident causes to MRS furniture, furnishings and property to return the furniture, furnishings and property to their condition before damage;

b) pay the cost associated with any impact or damage to a residence as a result of a breach of these Conditions of Residency, e.g smoking;

c) pay the cost of the attendance of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade where MRS, acting reasonably, forms the view that the resident or their visitor/guest activated the fire alarm by their inappropriate act or omission (whether wilful or negligent);

d) pay costs associated with the cleaning of their room/studio/flat/house.

Section 4 – The Role and Authority of College Heads

4.1 The Head (or their nominee) is responsible for all aspects of administration within each resident's accommodation complex.   The Head may enforce rules concerning behaviour and discipline and exercise disciplinary authority over all residents of their accommodation complex. The Director MRS may take any action a Head may take.

4.2 The capacity of the Head to manage their particular accommodation complex extends to the conduct of residents in the circumstances set out in Part 1, Section A.

4.3 The Head is entitled to develop and enforce specific rules and behavioural expectations for their particular accommodation complex.  These rules and behavioural expectations are in addition to the Residential Community Standards, which apply to all MRS accommodation complexes.

4.4 From time to time, difficult issues of an interpersonal nature may arise in MRS residences.  These might manifest as personal conflict within a resident’s accommodation, such as an underlying clash of personalities and/or the interaction between residents and visitors/guests of other residents living within the resident’s accommodation.  An underlying current of disharmony may surface which may, after investigation, require a Head to take action to achieve an appropriate community living environment, with consideration to both the individual residents and wider residential community.

4.5 The Head may direct a resident(s) to attend a formal mediation session and/or conciliation session. Where so directed, the resident must attend and participate in the mediation and/or conciliation session, and make reasonable efforts to resolve the conflict. If the mediation and/or conciliation session does not resolve the conflict, the Head may relocate a resident to another room and/or another resident’s accommodation within the on-campus residential facilities. A resident who has been instructed in writing to move must do so within the time frame specified by the Head.

4.6 Residents must:

a) obey the reasonable verbal and written instructions of the College Head, Deputy College Head, Residential Support Assistant and Resident Advisors, as well as any other staff member from MRS or Monash University (such as Monash Security) who is acting to protect the interests of MRS and the wellbeing of residents;

b) obtain written permission from the relevant Head if the resident wishes to:

  • (i) move from his or her allotted accommodation to another accommodation; or
  • (ii) have a visitor/guest to stay in their room overnight, or be present in the Hall complex between midnight and 7:00am, which in the case of a resident aged under 18 years will also first require the approval of their parent or guardian;

c) obtain permission from the Head (which may or may not be granted at the Head's absolute discretion) prior to having a party or gathering and if granted, pay all costs associated with the party or function, including costs incurred by MRS where MRS' costs may include but are not limited to items such as security personnel, cleaning, rubbish removal, repairs, etc. Any decision relating to the granting of permission for a gathering will be made with due consideration of the benefits to both the community and individual of such a gathering, as well as any potential detrimental impacts of the gathering – with the community taking priority over the individual;

d) participate to the best of their ability in the communal life of their accommodation complex, and in their conduct, always show consideration for other residents;

e) for the purposes of community management and residential support, inform their Head (by completing an MRS Absent from Residence form) if they will not be residing in their accommodation for a period of longer than 3 consecutive nights (e.g. for reasons of academic placement; holidays/travel; extended stay with family/friends). Residents under the age of 18 years must first obtain permission from their parent or guardian and inform the Head using the MRS Absent from Residence form prior to any overnight absence from their accommodation complex; and

f) complete MRS orientation and induction programs at the commencement of their residency, and at such other times during the residency required by MRS, so that they understand the MRS community expectations about matters such as what is acceptable behaviour within residences; interpersonal interactions; sexual consent; consumption of and attitudes toward alcohol; and any other foundations of the MRS community standards.

Section 5 - General Duties of Residents of Residents

5.1 Residents must:

a) not initiate, contribute to or allow to continue, any action which makes noise that disturbs other residents where noise originating from but heard outside the confines of a resident's accommodation (which in the case of shared accommodation, means the resident’s bedroom) may be deemed to be excessive;

b) not possess, consume, or be under the influence of alcohol whilst in an MRS accommodation complex, or attending an MRS event if they are under the age of 18 years, and if over the age of 18 years, not distribute alcohol to any person under the age of 18 years;

c) permit and not interfere with the reasonable use of any shared facilities by other residents, including sleeping outside of a residential room;

d) be responsible for all maintenance and software and/or system upgrades for their personal computers connected to the University computer network and ensure that they have installed and kept up to date virus protection and adequate firewall protection software to prevent intrusion by viruses, malware and unsolicited downloads;

e) keep the accommodation clean and surrender it in a clean state and in good order, and pay for costs necessary to clean it or to repair damage that exceeds fair wear and tear;

f) contribute to maintaining the cleanliness of all communal areas associated with their particular MRS resident’s accommodation, including but not limited to areas such as self-catering kitchens, eating areas, lounge areas, common rooms, toilets, bathrooms, music rooms, games rooms, etc.;

g) not hang clothing or other items from windows or balconies that may be observed from outside the premises;

h) park vehicles in accordance with the Monash University Parking Rules and only park vehicles in areas designated as car parking bays that do not have signage restricting the use of the bays to authorised persons, such as members of the Residential Support Team;

i) observe all Residential Community Standards, and other rules displayed in any area (common or private) of MRS property;

j) comply with all local Council regulations, especially with regard to noise levels, parking and rubbish collections;

k) not conduct surveys involving MRS residents without prior approval from the Director MRS; and

l) dress appropriately in all communal spaces (including bathrooms and kitchens).Although Monash does not have a particular dress code, residents must always be mindful of other residents and cultural differences. Residents must make every effort to not cause offense to others.

Section 6 – MRS’ limitation of liability and reservation of rights

Limitations on MRS’ liability

6.1 MRS accepts no liability for any loss and/or damage and/or corruption to data, software and/or hardware caused to a resident's personal computer as a result of it being connected to the University computer network.

6.2 MRS accepts no liability for any loss and/or damage to any resident’s clothing, books, electronic equipment or other personal items which are damaged whilst being used and/or stored in MRS accommodation, regardless of the cause of said damage or loss. Residents are very strongly encouraged to obtain private insurance for their personal belongings whilst they reside in MRS accommodation.

6.2A To the extent permitted by law, MRS accepts no liability arising from a resident’s loss of access to facilities or services, or any inconvenience incurred while the resident occupies the residence.

Rights that can be exercised by MRS

6.3 MRS reserves the right to remove/dispose of any clothing, books, electronic equipment or other personal items which are left in communal areas which pose an issue to Occupational Health and Safety or obstruct the living conditions of other residents including all common, bathroom and kitchen areas.

6.4 MRS reserves the right to remove/dispose of unregistered motor vehicles and their contents from MRS car parks and charge the resident for the cost incurred by MRS in the removal/disposal.

6.5 MRS accepts no liability for the removal/disposal of unregistered motor vehicles and their contents.

6.6 MRS will not provide access to any residence to a 3rd party unless the resident provides prior written consent and appropriate identification is provided. MRS accepts no liability for any loss and/or damage to any resident's clothing, books, electronic equipment or other personal items when access has been granted to a 3rd party.

6.7 In the case of an emergency, the Director MRS reserves the right to contact the resident's emergency contact to notify them of the emergency as well as pass on the emergency contact details to emergency services and/or medical service personnel if requested to do so.

6.8 If, upon vacating, a resident leaves behind any items, property or rubbish in any part of the accommodation or communal areas, MRS reserves the right to dispose of such items, property or rubbish in any manner that MRS sees fit (in its absolute discretion) and to charge the resident for the cost incurred by MRS for their removal or disposal.

Section 7 – Resident Responsibilities for Health, Safety, Security and the Environment

7.1 For reasons of health, safety and/or environmental consideration, the following items are forbidden within an MRS accommodation complex:

  • a) double adaptors and non-Australian power plugs for any electrical device (if an electrical device has been purchased outside Australia, an adapter must be purchased and used for all non-Australian power plugs);
  • b) personal heaters of any kind, e.g. bar radiators, fan heaters, oil heaters, etc.;
  • c) portable air-conditioners and evaporative coolers;
  • d) the use of electronic oil diffusers, candles, incense or anything which generates a continuous naked flame;

e) the use, possession, or storage of any kind of ammunition and/or weapon(s) or any other item (whether real or fake) that is capable of being used aggressively or for violent purposes or for the purpose of intimidating.  This includes but is not limited to missiles, fireworks, firearms, stun guns, daggers, knives with a fixed blade used for any purpose other than cooking, martial arts equipment, any device resembling a firearm, slingshots, spear guns, bows and arrows, explosives, laser pointing devices and Taser guns.  The improper discharge of a chemical agent including, but not limited to, mace, pepper spray, or other aerosols is prohibited;

f) animals of any kind, subject to clause 7.2;

g) ‘hoverboards’, self-balancing electric scooters, and similar products are not to be used, stored or charged within MRS accommodation complexes;

h) the use of drones without University approval or, where approval has been granted, that is not in accordance with University procedure and policy;

i) 3-D printers, associated equipment and materials such as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETT), nylon and Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE);i) Chemicals and chemical agents including (without limitation) mace, pepper spray, aerosols and any chemicals that are being used or are likely to be used for dangerous purposes or for purposes other than ordinary personal or domestic use; and

j) Hazardous chemicals that are being used or are likely to be used for dangerous purposes or purposes other than ordinary personal or domestic use, are not permitted to be stored within residential premises. Hazardous chemicals include:

  • Flammable or combustible liquids (such as paint thinner, ethanol, acetone, kerosene, motor oil, propane fuelled camping equipment);
  • Corrosive liquids, acids and bases;
  • Toxic chemicals and poisons;
  • Oxidising chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide;
  • Compressed gas cylinders (LPG or other gases);
  • Explosives; and
  • Dry ice.

7.2 Residents who require an Assistance Animal to live with and accompany them in MRS accommodation must notify MRS in writing at the time of applying for residency (or, if the requirement arises after an application for residency has been submitted or residency has been granted, prior to the animal being accommodated in MRS accommodation). In notifying MRS, the resident must provide details of the Assistance Animal, including age and breed. MRS reserves all rights, including the rights set out under clause 1.2, to allocate or reallocate accommodation to the resident in MRS’ absolute discretion.

7.3 Residents are forbidden to cook food in their accommodation unless their accommodation design includes a designated kitchen area which has been approved by MRS for cooking.

7.4 Residents are permitted to cook food for personal consumption in approved kitchen areas PROVIDING all water heating appliances (including jugs, kettles and birkos) are fitted with an automatic cut-off switch.

7.5 Residents must protect all their electrical equipment by using an approved surge protector power board.  MRS is not responsible for damage to electrical equipment as a result of power surges/spikes/blow outs and/or disruption to electrical power supplies provided by external electrical companies.

7.6 Residents must:

a) cooperate with MRS Environmental initiatives at all times by actively reducing and/or recycling waste and conserving resources;

b) ensure that they do not compromise the security of any MRS buildings or premises and not leave unattended external doors, windows and window furnishings unlocked and/or open.  This extends to not allowing persons who are not members of the residential community access to MRS buildings or premises;

c) in the case of illness of any person, permit an authorised representative of MRS to obtain medical assistance and/or to send the unwell person to his or her home or to a hospital at the person's own expense;

d) immediately notify MRS upon becoming aware that the resident has contracted or may have come into contact with an infectious condition or disease, including where the resident is showing symptoms of an infectious condition or disease or where the resident has been in contact with another person who is showing symptoms of or who has been diagnosed with an infectious condition of disease; and

e) in the circumstances provided for under clause 7.6(d), comply with any request for information, requirement or direction from the Director MRS reasonably necessary to ensure the health and safety of MRS residents, staff and guests, including (without limitation) any requirement to be tested or assessed by a medical practitioner and to immediately provide (or have the medical practitioner provide) the results of that medical test or assessment to MRS.

7.8 Where MRS is notified by a resident or by a medical professional that a resident has, or has been in contact with someone who has, an infectious condition or disease, the resident must:

  • (i) cooperate with MRS to discuss a suitable risk management plan for the infectious condition or disease; and
  • (ii) comply with any reasonably necessary directions from MRS, acting on advice from a medical professional, to manage the infectious condition or disease, including but not exclusively to relocate a resident to alternative accommodation or require a resident to remain absent from MRS premises and/or otherwise isolate themselves from other residents for the period of time that a resident is infectious.

7.9 If there is an event that affects or has the possibility of affecting the health and safety of residents, including (but not limited to) a pandemic, a State of Emergency, a State of Disaster or other serious threat to health and safety, residents must comply with all directions, restrictions and mandates imposed by the Head or Director MRS or any municipal, statutory or government including (without limitation):

  • (i) following procedures such as emergency evacuations and announcements, physical distancing, restrictions on gatherings or medical testing;
  • (ii) modifying behaviours or activities such as wearing of personal protective equipment and refraining or ceasing behaviours which may be in breach of the government restrictions;
  • (iii) modifying, vacating or ceasing entry, use or occupation of residences, communal spaces, areas or facilities within MRS including avoiding areas that have been identified as hazardous or dangerous; and
    (iv) participating in educational programs or safety training and ensuring that the health and safety of MRS residents and the local community is prioritised

Section 8 - Maintenance and Damage

8.1 If a resident's accommodation or surrounding premises are for any reason either destroyed or damaged so that the accommodation becomes unfit for habitation, the resident’s right to occupy the accommodation shall thereupon terminate and subject to section 8.2, MRS will endeavour to relocate the resident to similar MRS accommodation and if no suitable accommodation is available, MRS will terminate the Residency Agreement.

8.2 If a resident's accommodation or surrounding premises are destroyed or damaged so that the accommodation becomes unfit for habitation, and such damage is caused or contributed by the act, omission or negligence of a resident or a resident’s guest, the resident’s right to occupy the accommodation shall thereupon terminate and MRS will not be obliged to relocate the resident.

Section 9 - Visitors/guests and Sub-letting

Policy on visitors/guests

9.1 All MRS accommodation is offered as single occupancy.  Residents are permitted visitors and guests – under the expectation that any guests will not negatively impact on the wider residential community.  In considering requests for overnight guests (section 9.3), Heads will consider the accommodation’s style and the potential impact of guests within the community (and smaller residential groupings within the complex).

9.2 Residents must be responsible for the behaviour of their visitors/guests within residences, communal areas and at any MRS functions and events.

9.3 All guests are expected to leave by midnight except where approval to stay overnight is granted by the Head (see section 4.6). An application to stay overnight (pursuant to section 4.6) must be submitted by the resident through the Resident Online Portal.

9.4 Residents must only allow one visitor/guest to stay in their accommodation overnight and then, only where the resident has sought and obtained permission under section 4.6 (b) from the Head prior to the date on which the visitor/guest will stay, and only allow the visitor/guest to stay overnight for a maximum of two consecutive nights (to the extent of the permission granted by the Head) in a week on an irregular basis.

9.5 Residents previously evicted from MRS accommodation are not permitted as a visitor and/or guest in MRS' residences or to attend MRS functions/events (on or off campus) unless authorised by the Director MRS. Guests who have been approved by the Head under section 4.6 must not be under 18 years of age.

Policy on assignment/subletting

9.6 Residents must not assign or sub-let or otherwise part with possession of their accommodation without the prior written consent of MRS which consent may or may not be granted at MRS' absolute discretion.

9.7 Residents must not permit or allow any other person to take up residence in the accommodation and must only use the accommodation for residential purposes.

Section 10 - Right of Entry to Resident’s Accommodation

10.1 MRS reserves the right of entry into resident accommodation by approved staff and/or contractors in approved situations including but not limited to:

  • a) weekly cleaning;
  • b) health and safety matters;
  • c) smoke detector tests;
  • d) maintenance;

e) excessive noise where, in the case of noise originating from but heard outside the confines of a resident's accommodation (which in the case of shared accommodation, means the resident’s bedroom) and the resident is not present, MRS reserves the right to take action to stop the noise continuing to disturb other residents, including but not limited to such action as switching off any electrical appliance generating the noise; and

f) in the case of emergency, actual or suspected.

10.2 Approved staff and/or contractors will carry appropriate identification at all times and will present such identification to residents on request.  Residents are encouraged to request the production of identification and to report any concerns to the Head or to the Director MRS.

Section 11 – Processes for investigation and resolutions of breach(es) of Residential Community Standards

11.1 MRS exists to provide a living and learning environment in which residents will always act with the best interests of fellow residents in mind.  Tolerance and respect for others and their rights and freedoms should be a primary concern, as should their health and personal safety.  By the resident accepting an offer of residency, a resident  agrees to comply with the standards, terms and conditions as outlined in the Residential Community Standards.

11.2 In a large communal living environment, residents who do not comply with the Residential Community Standards may be dealt with under sections 12 or 13, where MRS may impose sanction(s) including a decision to evict a resident.  This section sets out the rights and responsibilities of a resident in the process, whereby MRS may make a decision to impose a sanction, including a decision to evict a resident.

11.3 The Director MRS has delegated responsibility to the Head for the maintenance of Residential Community Standards and appropriate living environment within each residence.  

11.4 In matters which involve residents from more than one residence, the respective Heads may agree that one of them will take responsibility for any investigation and resulting actions of a particular matter.

11.5 Where a Head's attention is drawn to a possible breach of Residential Community Standards, the Head (or their nominee) will, at the earliest possible opportunity, write (email) to or speak with (telephone) the resident outlining the possible breach. The Head may request that the resident attends a meeting , whether in person, online or by telephone.

11.6 In cases where the Head reasonably believes a breach has occurred and the consequences are minor (‘Minor Breach’), the Head may inform the resident in writing  of the decision that the resident has committed a Minor Breach. The Head may by-pass the process set out in sections 11.7 to 11.13.

11.6A If a resident is suspected of committing any other breach, including  a serious breach (‘Breach’) of the Residential Community Standards (including a possible breach of a type described in section 13.2), the Director MRS may, at their absolute discretion, refer the  Breach to the Responsible Officer for General Misconduct as a matter constituting General Misconduct to be dealt with in accordance with the Student General Conduct Policy and Student General Misconduct Procedure. If a finding of General Misconduct is made against the resident, the Director MRS may impose sanctions on the resident in accordance with sections 11.17, 12.1 or 13.1, and may by-pass sections 11.7 to 11.16. In these circumstances the resident retains the right to appeal under section 14.

11.7 The Head or Director MRS will advise the resident in writing :

a) that a Breach is being investigated in accordance with this section and;

  • (i)  In the case of a Breach of sections 12 or 13, the Head or Director MRS may choose to refer the investigation of the Breach to another person(s), including, but not limited to other MRS Staff, Monash Security Services or the Monash Safer Community Unit; and
  • (ii)  At the conclusion of the investigation into the Breach, the Head or Director MRS is the responsible decision-maker of  any decision made under these Conditions of Residency.

b) provide a full copy of this section or explain how a full copy of this section may be accessed;

c) that a meeting will be held at a specified time and place to discuss the Breach and the resident is expected to attend; and

d) that the resident may be accompanied at the meeting by a support person who is another resident or another person approved by the Director MRS.

11.7A The Head or Director MRS may take interim steps as necessary to protect the immediate and ongoing welfare of the MRS residential community and its residents without making a decision regarding the Breach where:

a) the Director MRS has referred a matter to the Responsible Officer for General Misconduct under section 11.6A; or

b) the Head or Director MRS has notified the resident that a possible breach is being investigated under section 11.7 a).

Such steps may include directions that impose temporary restrictions of the activities of individuals or groups of any residents, reallocation of resident(s) to alternative accommodation, and/or directions that restrict the interpersonal interactions of any resident(s) whilst on Monash University property, or whilst engaging in activities associated with Monash University.

11.8 When the Head or Director MRS and resident meet, if the resident is accompanied by a support person, the Head may request another MRS staff member to also be present.

11.9 The support person's role is to observe the meeting and provide support and guidance to the resident, as requested. The support person may not represent the resident or speak on the resident's behalf.

11.10 In choosing a support person, the resident must consider any potential conflict of interest. For example, a Resident Advisor, a witness to any incident concerning a Breach, or another resident involved in the incident must not act as a support person.

11.11 If the resident fails to attend a meeting with the Head or Director MRS after being given reasonable opportunity to do so, the Head or Director MRS may decide the Breach without a meeting in the resident’s absence.  The resident may provide to the Head or Director MRS any information they wish to be considered by email delivered prior to the time of the scheduled meeting.

11.12 During this meeting, the Head or Director MRS will state the allegation(s) comprising the Breach, and provide an outline of the evidence. The resident will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegation(s) during the meeting.

11.13 The Head or Director MRS will make a decision, as to whether a Breach has occurred, and inform the resident of the decision and, if applicable, any sanction. This may occur at the meeting or after the meeting, following any further consideration and/or enquiries the Head or the Director MRS deem appropriate.

11.14 The Head or Director MRS will then confirm in writing to the resident the decision that a Breach has occurred, and any sanction. Within 3 calendar days after the resident receiving this written notice by email, the resident may request written reasons for the decision. The Head or Director MRS will  provide written reasons within 7 calendar days, after receiving the resident’s written request.

11.15 The Head or Director MRS is responsible for conveying to any resident (or group of residents) whose interests may be affected by the decision that a Breach has occurred, such information on the decision as may be necessary. In doing so, the Head or Director MRS will give due regard for considerations of resident’s privacy with regard to disclosing any identifying information.

11.16 If, after the Head or Director MRS, has made a decision with regard to a Breach:

a) new or significant evidence (i.e. that does not duplicate/repeat previous evidence and/or provides significant additional evidence to that already before the Head or the Director MRS), which was not known and could not reasonably have been known at the time of the original decision, is now available; and

b) that evidence has the potential to alter the decision, the resident may provide that evidence to the Head or the MRS and request that the Head or Director MRS reconsider the grounds for matter. The Head or Director MRS may reconsider the new evidence in his/her discretion, and may issue a new decision, reversing or confirming the original decision that a Breach has occurred.

11.17 Where a resident has been found to have committed a Breach:

a)  the Head or Director MRS may impose a sanction or the Head may refer the matter to the Director MRS for consideration under section 13; or

b) the Responsible Officer for General Misconduct may, following the referral made by the Director MRS under section 11.6A, investigate whether the Breach constitutes General Misconduct under and in accordance with the Student General Conduct Policy and Student General Misconduct Procedureand, subject to the findings or outcome of that investigation, impose a penalty.

11.18 The policy objectives underlying the imposition of sanctions under this section are designed to uphold the harmony among all residents in the community, to hold residents accountable for their conduct if a Breach has occurred.  It is intended that the resident examine the motives for, and consequences of, their actions.

11.19 The types of sanction that may be imposed, include but are not limited to:

Restitution

Reimbursement for damage to, or misappropriation of, property. This does not apply to damage which relates to section 3 of the MRS Conditions of Residency.

Loss or restriction of privileges

Limitation or removal for a set period of time of social or personal privileges (e.g. withdrawal of approval to bring, keep or consume alcohol on MRS grounds, etc.)

Service to the MRS Community

Requirement to complete a certain project to give something back to the MRS community and learn something at the same time. Wherever possible, there should be a logical relationship between the breach and the community service assigned.

Formal warning under Section 12

A formal written warning will set out the breach and require no further breach of the Residential Community Standards to occur in the future.

Combinations of the above

 

Section 12 – Breach of community standards which may be grounds for Formal Warning, and that may lead to Eviction

12.1 The Head or Director MRS may issue a formal written warning to a resident and impose any additional sanction(s) under section 11.19, where:

i) the Head or Director MRS concludes, after an investigation conducted according to the process set out in section 11, that a Breach has occurred within the meaning of section 12; or

ii) following a referral made under section 11.6A to the Responsible Officer for General Misconduct, a resident has been found to have committed an act of General Misconduct as described  in this section 12.

12.2 Grounds for issue of a formal written warning are any of the following:

a) misconduct within an accommodation complex and/or residential precinct, which is an action or series of actions that breach accepted standards of behaviour in a residential community;

b) behaviour that endangers the resident’s life, wellbeing, health (both mental and physical) or safety, and/or impacts negatively upon other residents and/or staff either around the resident and/or in an MRS accommodation complex (hall, flats, houses) or at an MRS function, including (without limitation) anything that endangers or threatens to endanger their life, wellbeing, health (both mental or physical) or safety;

ba)  any form of hazing, which includes any action or situation (e.g. initiation ceremony, ritual, challenge or other activity) with or without the consent of participants, for the purpose of admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for, continued membership or acceptance into a group (e.g. club, team, hall, society). Hazing activities may be intentional or unintentional and may cause or be likely to cause humiliation, discomfort, embarrassment, abuse or physical and or emotional harm to any individual or group;

c) intoxication or excessive consumption of alcohol or other drugs (prescribed or otherwise) that endangers the resident’s life/wellbeing and/or impacts negatively upon other residents either around the resident and/or in an MRS accommodation complex (hall, flats, houses, communal and surrounding areas) or at an MRS approved function, and in the case of a resident under 18 years of age consuming or being under the influence of alcohol;

d) verbal abuse against another resident, visitor/guest or staff member;

e) threatening, bullying or harassing behaviour;

f) discrimination or vilification based upon a person's race, national, linguistic or ethnic origin, culture/religion, gender, sexual identity, disability, political opinion or activity or other personal attribute;

g) theft;

h) excessive noise or noise that unreasonably or negatively impacts on any resident and/or in an MRS accommodation complex (hall, flats, houses, communal and surrounding areas) irrespective of the time of day or night;

i) intentional, reckless or negligent damage to Monash University and/or MRS property and/or the property belonging to another resident and/or belonging to a visitor/guest of another resident or any other person;

j) allowing unauthorised and/or unaccompanied visitors/guests access to MRS property;

k) cooking in a bedroom and/or in an area that is not an approved kitchen;

l) smoking and / or vaping (or evidence of) of both nicotine and non-nicotine based products in areas other than areas (if any) if designated for smoking (Note; the use and possession of vaping products containing nicotine is banned in Victoria);

m) unauthorised use of and/or interfering with firefighting equipment, including smoke and thermal detectors;

n) unauthorised entry into restricted areas of MRS/Monash University property, including but not limited to roofs, plant rooms, and other restricted places;

o) unauthorised use of, or interference with Monash University IT systems, including but not limited to wireless Internet services;

p) bringing an animal into bedrooms, flats or houses (except an Assistance Animal that has been approved in accordance with these Conditions of Residency);

q) bringing a weapon or firearm, or any item that could be used for aggressive or violent purposes or for the purpose of intimidating others, onto MRS property;

r) throwing any object from a window or from a roof;

s) subletting a resident’s accommodation, including providing a means of access to MRS accommodation and/or room (e.g. via key or proxy access) to a person who should not have access to that space;

t) preventing Monash University and/or MRS approved staff and/or contractors from completing authorised duties, including the implementation of MRS Critical Incident Management Protocols;

u) refusal to evacuate their accommodation and/or the premises after being instructed to do so by an officer of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Building Warden or any other authorised representative of Monash University and/or MRS, or by a computer automated evacuation command generated by the building’s Emergency Warning and Evacuation System;

v) contravening or non-compliance with any other Section of these Conditions of Residency, other MRS Policy and/or Procedure, or any Residential Community Standard, reasonable direction of the Head or Director MRS, or conditions agreed to by the Resident;

w) unauthorised removal of MRS property, including furniture and fittings from communal areas;

x) allowing your accommodation to become unfit for living in (not due to fault on the part of MRS); or

y) failing to keep the resident’s accommodation and any communal areas within an apartment or house clean and tidy in accordance with the cleaning specifications as outlined on the MRS web site;

z) failing to attend all mandatory training and any other training directed by the Director MRS;

aa) failing to follow the agreed steps of a documented Safety and Support Plan as agreed to between you and the Head or Director MRS.

12.3 Where the Head or Director MRS concludes, after an investigation conducted according to section 11, that a Breach referred to in this section 12 has occurred, and where the resident has received a prior warning for any breach of section 12, (including a Minor Breach), the Head or Director MRS may consider evicting the resident from MRS. The Head or Director MRS may evict a resident by written notice to vacate that takes effect immediately or at some later time.  Notice to vacate requires a resident to vacate their accommodation, taking all personal effects, and leave the premises in a safe and clean state.

12.3 A resident who receives two formal warnings during any previous residency period for a Breach falling under this section 12 is ineligible to apply for future accommodation at MRS complexes. Special consideration may be given to a previous resident who has received two formal warnings, referenced in this paragraph 12.3, on a case by case basis at MRS’ absolute discretion.

Section 13 – Breaches of community standards that are grounds for immediate eviction

13.1 Where:

i) the Director MRS concludes, after an investigation conducted in accordance with section 11, that a Breach constituting any conduct referred to in this section 13 has occurred; or

ii) following a referral by the Director MRS made under section 11.6A, a finding that a resident committed an act of General Misconduct is made on the basis that the resident committed a Breach, constituting any conduct referred to in this section 13,

the Director MRS may evict a resident by written notice to vacate that takes effect immediately or at some later stated time.  Notice to vacate requires a resident to vacate their accommodation, taking all personal effects and leave the premises in a safe and clean state.

13.2 Grounds for a notice to vacate are any of the following:

a) physical assault and/or physical harassment;

b) sexual assault and/or sexual harassment/misconduct;

c) violent and/or  aggressive behaviour;

d) conduct affecting the safety of a resident or other person involving:

  • i) possession of illegal drugs or other illegal substances (including synthetic** drugs);
  • ii) use and/or being under the influence of illegal drugs or other illegal substances (including synthetic** drugs) within residences or the residential environment;
  • iii) use and/or being under the influence of legal medication contrary to the manufacturer’s recommended use or any medical prescription held by the resident;
  • iv) selling and/or distribution of illegal drugs or other illegal substances (including synthetic** drugs);
  • v) selling and/or distribution of legal medication(s) for the purpose of them being used contrary to the manufacturer’s recommended use or any medical prescription;

e) engaging in any activity of a criminal nature or in any activity that breaches the law;

f) threats and/or emotional harm, including but not limited to harassment, stalking and psychological aggression;

g) causing or being likely to cause psychological harm and/or emotional distress through the use of any form of social networking media, including but not limited to email, text messaging, web pages, digital and physical noticeboards, and image/video sharing;

h) engaging in any behaviour where the resident is  connected with MRS (i.e. where your connection is apparent from your clothing, statements made including in any online format, or the nature of the event) which has the significant potential to bring Monash University and/or MRS into disrepute;

(i) any other conduct or behaviour that endangers or threatens the life, wellbeing, health (both mental and physical) or safety of a resident, staff or member of the public;

j) a serious breach of section 12 or any other section of the Residential Community Standards; or

k) repeated breaches of section 12 (where the repetition may comprise breaches of different sub-sections of section 12) following two formal warnings issued under section 12.

13.3 Where the Director MRS or Head concludes, after an investigation conducted according to the process set out in section 11, that a Breach constituting conduct referred to in this section 13 has occurred but a decision is made not to evict, the Head may issue a formal written warning and impose any additional sanction(s) under section 11.19.  Grounds for issue of a formal written warning are any of section 13.2 (a) – (j).

13.4 Despite any other provision in the Residential Community Standards, if the Director MRS considers that there is an immediate and serious risk to the safety and wellbeing of any resident or the MRS community, then the Director MRS may relocate any resident at any time (whether before or during an investigation or before or during a review of a decision) to alternate accommodation, including accommodation off campus.  For the avoidance of any doubt, in the case of conflict or inconsistency, this clause 13.4 overrides any other provision in the Residential Community Standards.

13.5 A person who has been evicted under this section during a previous residency period is ineligible to apply for future accommodation at MRS complexes and must not attend or visit any MRS complexes or precincts for any reason.

** The term ‘synthetic' refers to drugs whose origins are not primarily organic but are produced via chemical synthesis to mimic the effects of illegal drugs.

Section 14 – Review of a decision under section 11, 12 or 13

14.1 For the avoidance of doubt nothing in this Conditions of Residency provides any right of review or appeal in respect of a decision of the Responsible Officer for General Misconduct and/or anything under the Student General Conduct Policy and Student General Misconduct Procedure.

Decision under section 11 or 12
14.2 If a resident, being either the resident who is alleged to have committed the Breach or a resident who has made the allegation against another resident or is otherwise involved with the alleged Breach, disagrees with the process applied under section 11 and/or a decision made under section 11 or 12 that a Breach has occurred, the resident may request that the decision be reviewed.  The review will be conducted by the Director MRS or, where the decision is a decision of the Director MRS, the Vice President (Campus Infrastructure and Services) or their nominated representative will conduct the review.

14.3 To request a review, a resident must apply in writing to the Director MRS, stating:

  • (i) the decision, which the resident requests to be reviewed; and
  • (ii) the reasons for the request.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances (as determined by the Director MRS), the request must be received by the Director MRS within three (3) consecutive days (including weekends) after the resident receives the written notification of the decision.

14.4 A resident may only request a review of the decision on one or more of the following grounds:

a) the decision maker did not follow the correct process in making the decision; or

b) evidence or circumstances which should have been taken into account by the decision maker in reaching a decision were overlooked or were not given sufficient weight; or

c) new or significant evidence (i.e. that does not duplicate/repeat previous evidence and/or provides significant additional evidence to that already before the decision maker) which was not known and could not reasonably have been known at the time of the original decision, is now available and has the potential to alter the decision.

14.5 Where the request for review has been made by the resident who is alleged to have committed the Breach and that resident has provided their written request to the Director MRS in accordance with clause 14.3 for a review on a ground set out in section 14.4, the sanction or  eviction is suspended until the Director MRS concludes the review.  During the suspension, the directions imposed under section 11.7 (a) will resume in order to properly manage the welfare of residents and the wider community until the review has concluded.  If the resident holds a MRS scholarship, the scholarship will be suspended pending the Director MRS’ decision.

14.6 Upon receiving an application for a review, the Director MRS will determine whether the resident who has submitted the application has grounds for a review. The Director MRS may dismiss the review application, if the grounds are not reviewable under the Conditions of Residency.

14.7 If the Director MRS determines the review ground(s) are capable of review,  the Director MRS will conduct the review considering the material provided by the resident in support of the review application.  The Director MRS will determine if the review ground is upheld on a balance of probabilities. If so, the Director MRS will make a new decision on the subject-matter of the Breach under review.

14.8 The Director MRS will provide the decision on the review request in writing to the resident who has submitted the application and also to the resident who is alleged to have committed the Breach in circumstances where that resident is not the application.  Within 7 calendar days  after a resident receives notification of the decision,  the resident may request in writing to the Director MRS written reasons for the decision. The Director MRS  will provide written reasons within 14 days after receiving the resident’s request for written reason of the decision.

Decision under section 13

14.9 If the Director MRS determines to evict a resident and the resident seeks a review of that decision, the resident must make a written request for a review of the decision to the Director MRS. The Director MRS  will pass the resident’s request for review to the Vice-President (Campus Infrastructure and Services).  Unless there are exceptional circumstances (as determined by the Director MRS), the request for review must be received within three (3) consecutive days  after the resident receives the written notification of the decision to evict the resident.

14.10 A resident may only request a review of the decision on one or more of the following grounds:

a) the decision maker did not follow the correct process in making the decision; and/or

b) evidence or circumstances which should have been taken into account by the decision maker in reaching a decision were overlooked or were not given sufficient weight; and/or

c) new or significant evidence (i.e. that does not duplicate/repeat previous evidence and/or provides significant additional evidence to that already before the decision maker) which was not known and could not reasonably have been known at the time of the original decision, is now available and has the potential to alter the decision.

14.11 If the Vice-President (Campus Infrastructure and Services) or their nominated representative determines that the request to review a decision to evict does not set out arguable grounds for review under Section 14.10, the Vice-President  will dismiss the request, and inform the resident and Director MRS in writing that the original decision to evict the resident stands.

14.12 Except where a decision is made under Section 14.11, the Vice-President (Campus Infrastructure and Services) will appoint a panel to review the original decision, with the panel comprising:

a) A person nominated by the Executive Director of Campus Community Division (who will chair the panel); and

b) A Head from a residence other than the residence where the resident had accommodation; and

c) A member of the MRS Residents’ Committee from a residence other than the residence where the resident had accommodation and who has no close personal relationship with the resident.  If no suitable representative from the MRS Residents’ Committee can be found, the Vice-President (Campus Infrastructure and Services) may appoint another resident from a residence other than the residence where the resident had accommodation and who has no close personal relationship with the resident.

d) If the Vice-President (Campus Infrastructure and Services) determines that the inclusion of another student on the review panel (see 14.11(c)) is for any reason inappropriate, they may choose to appoint another person as appropriate to the panel in place of a student resident.

14.13 The resident must not remain in MRS accommodation while the panel consider the review request.  Alternative accommodation may be arranged by MRS for this period and if so, the resident will be responsible for the cost of this accommodation.

14.14 The panel may decide the review request based on the documents submitted to it by the resident and the Director MRS and any other person with information that may assist the panel, or after convening a meeting of the panel at which the Director MRS and the resident and any other person approved by the panel is invited to attend.  If a resident  fails to attend the meeting without the approval of the panel, the review request may be determined in the resident’s absence.

14.15 If there is a meeting of the panel which the resident attends, the resident may be accompanied by another resident who may act as a support person (see sections 11.8 and 11.9 for information about the role of the support person).

14.16 Once the panel has considered the review request, it may either (i) confirm the decision to evict the resident with no further right of review, or (ii) set aside the notice to vacate and impose a sanction, or (iii) set aside the notice to vacate with no further action.

14.17 The chair of the panel will provide its decision on the review request in writing to the Vice-President (Campus Infrastructure and Services), Director MRS, and the resident.  Within 7 calendar days after the resident receives the written decision, the resident may request written reasons for the decision. The written reasons for the decision will be provided to the resident, Vice-President (Campus Infrastructure and Services), and the Director MRS in writing within 14 calendar days after receiving the resident’s written request.

14.18 Until a decision is made under Section 14.17,  the Director may review and vary  the original decision (including sanctions) concerning a Breach made under Sections 11, 12, and 13.

Section 15 - Implications of unpaid rent or other accommodation fees on enrolment and graduation

15.1 Under Regulation 11 of the Monash University (Vice-Chancellor) Regulations:

"A person is not entitled to be admitted or re-admitted to any course of study or enrolled in a unit of study or have a degree conferred on him or her or any other award granted to him or her:

(b) while any money, including a fee, payable by him or her to the University or to a subsidiary of, or body affiliated with, the University and due for payment remains unpaid, unless the Vice-Chancellor otherwise directs;”

15.2 These Regulations apply to residents and can be found at:

(a) Current Monash University Statute and Regulations;

(b) [For more information regarding restrictions that are placed on students with outstanding accounts to MRS, please see Fee non-payment (encumbrance)].

Section 16 - Residents' Belongings

16.1 MRS is not responsible in any way for the safekeeping of or damage to residents' belongings.  Belongings left in any common spaces may be disposed of by MRS.  This includes (but is not limited to) belongings found in:

a) MRS Communal Fridges:  Residents who use MRS communal fridges must ensure that all food is labelled with their name and dated.  Any food that is not labelled and/or out of date or belongs to a person who is no longer a resident may be disposed of.

b) MRS Communal Kitchens:  Residents who use MRS communal kitchens must not leave their personal equipment in any location other than kitchen lockers, cupboards and shelves.  Items stored in these places are not the responsibility of MRS.  Any items stored in kitchen lockers, cupboards and shelves must be clean and if food items, appropriately packaged.  Any item found in an MRS communal kitchen may be disposed of at any time for the purposes of cleaning, scheduled audit of communal spaces, or other reasons related to the management of the residential complex.

c) MRS Laundries:  Residents who use MRS laundries must ensure that their clothing is not left in any area other than drying racks and pigeon holes.  Residents may remove items from laundry equipment (if they remain after the completion of a wash/dry cycle) but must place them in appropriate drying racks/pigeon holes and where possible, inform the previous user of the location of the transferred items.  Any item found left in an MRS laundry can be disposed of at any time.

d) MRS Residences:  Any personal belongings left behind by a departed resident will be disposed of immediately and the resident may be charged an additional fee for the cost of disposal.

(e) Lost Property: Any lost/unclaimed property handed into the MRS office(s) will be held for a period of 3 months and residents can reclaim their property from the applicable MRS office upon satisfying MRS staff of a legitimate claim to the property. Items not claimed are donated to a local charitable organisation, and in the case of identity documents and materials are handed over to local police.

Section 17 - General

17.1 MRS reserves the right to change the Residential Community Standards, including these Conditions of Residency and the Accommodation Fee Regulations, at any time by posting such changes or revised documents on the MRS website.  All changes take effect within 7 days of posting on the website, or such later date specified by MRS.

17.2 Any notice under the Residential Community Standards may be delivered to the resident personally or to his or her accommodation or email address recorded on the University’s student information system.  A notice will be deemed to have been served:-

a) where it is delivered by email or hand, on the date on which it is sent; or

b) where it is delivered by post, 2 working days after the date on which it is sent.

Last updated:  7 January 2021