The Tenants' Union of Tasmania has written to the state government requesting it reopen with urgency 20 cases where social housing tenants were evicted without being afforded procedural fairness.
This follows a recent Supreme Court decision which ruled social housing tenants can can only be evicted for a reason that was "genuine or just", and not simply because their lease was due to expire.
The case centered around a 55-year-old intellectually disabled man, Gregory Parsons, who successfully overturned a decision by Housing Tasmania to evict him from his Glenorchy residence on this basis in 2017.
In a letter sent to Housing Minister Roger Jaensch on Tuesday, Tenants' Union solicitor Ben Bartl requested the government reopen the matters of 20 tenants who were evicted on the grounds of lease expiry during the time the Mr Parsons' matter was being appealed, from the date the appeal was filed on October 18, 2017.
"Given the high risk of homelessness faced by social housing tenants, affording procedural fairness should be standard practice. Unfortunately, for many years Housing Tasmania has intentionally circumvented its tenants' rights to procedural fairness by simply listing 'end of lease' as the reason for their eviction," Mr Bartl said.
"As we understand matters, Housing Tasmania persisted in obtaining these orders against unrepresented tenants in circumstances where it had agreed to stay similar proceedings against tenants who were represented by the Tenants' Union."
Mr Bartl said Housing Tasmania failed to act as a model litigant because it failed to deal with matter efficiently, did not make early assessments of the prospects of claim or defence, and took advantage of parties who lacked resources to pursue legitimate claims.
A Human Services spokesperson said, given the letter was only received on Tuesday, the Department would carefully consider the various claims made by the Tenants' Union before providing a response.
"It would not be appropriate to preempt this process," the spokesperson said.