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Where serious issues brought to the Registrar’s attention about a registered agency are to be investigated, the Housing Act 1983 (the Act) sets out a range of powers for the Registrar to use to conduct an investigation including the following:

• Appointment of inspectors

• Compulsory attendance at interviews

• Compulsory supply of documents and records

• Entry to premises, search and seizure of documents or other items

• Gaining and use of search warrant

The investigation will generally result in a detailed report of findings with recommendations on priority matters to be addressed. Addressing of these priority matters may involve an agency proposing to take specific steps voluntarily when advised of the findings by the Registrar, and/or it may involve the Registrar using one or more intervention powers available under the Act.


In considering use of intervention powers, the Registrar is required to refer to the Intervention Guidelines(pdf 173KB) to guide decision making. The Guidelines indicate that intervention powers are only to be used as a means of last resort.

There are several intervention actions available to the Registrar under the Act:

  • Recommend the appointment of governing body members (s131)
  • Instruct the agency to take a specific action (s132)
    • To enter into specified arrangements with one or more registered agency including transfer of some or all housing or merger
    • To appoint governing body members
    • To appoint an administrator
    • To wind up the agency and distribute its assets
    • Any other matter the Registrar thinks fit

In addition to these intervention actions, the Registrar can revoke the registration of a registered housing agency (s141).