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Probe into Vic public housing repair costs

AAP logoAAP 10/08/2016 By Helen Velissaris

Victoria's independent watchdog is investigating whether public housing tenants have been charged for maintenance work that should be the responsibility of the state government.

The Victorian ombudsman will probe the Office of Housing's method for determining and pursuing maintenance debts against its tenants after numerous complaints.

They will investigate if costs were passed on without allowing for "fair wear and tear" and when unlawful damage was caused by third parties.

The probe will also look at the use of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to arbitrate matters.

Housing Minister Martin Foley on Wednesday welcomed the ombudsman's inquiry.

"We will always do what we can to support vulnerable Victorians because we operate on the basis that public housing tenants should be treated like those who live under the residential tenancy act," he said in a statement to AAP.

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