In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000

Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call


Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700


24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

Unauthorised Occupants

Trespasser or Squatter

Legal framework
Unauthorised occupant
Obtaining vacant possession


This policy outlines Housing ACT's response where illegal occupants, trespassers and squatters are unlawfully occupying public rental housing properties.

This policy is consistent with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 1997 (RTA) This link goes to an External site and the Trespass on Territory Land Act 1932 This link goes to an External site


Housing ACT will not permit unlawful occupation of public rental housing premises and will pursue this matter to the full extent available under the legislation.

Unauthorised Occupant

If the occupant has been allowed to reside in the property by the previous tenant without the licence or consent of Housing ACT, he/she is an unauthorised occupant (refer to Clause 72 of the Schedule to the RTA) This link goes to an External site. The unauthorised occupant is required to vacate the property.


A trespass is an unauthorised, uninvited entry onto Housing ACT land. A person is a trespasser if he/she intentionally or negligently commits a trespass or directly interferes with the land by entering the property without any express or implied invitation, licence, permission, lawful authority, or consent of Housing ACT. If a person remains after being told to leave he/she is also trespassing. The trespasser is required to vacate the property.


In effect the terms trespasser and squatter mean the same thing, however, a squatter is defined as a person who occupies land or a building without the consent of the rightful owner. Squatting is the term used to refer to the act of taking up occupation of an otherwise unoccupied house or land without the consent of the rightful owner. The squatter is required to vacate the property.

Obtaining Vacant Possession

Where there is an unauthorised occupant, trespasser or squatter in an Housing ACT property, the person is advised that he/she is residing in the property without our consent and he/she must leave immediately. If vacant possession is not provided, Housing ACT will arrange to remove the person from the premises and initiate legal action if necessary to achieve its objective.