Lease agreements in public housing
A lease agreement is a legal document that sets out your rights and responsibilities, as well as those of Housing SA. These responsibilities are the conditions you agree to at the start of your tenancy. Lease agreements for public housing are also known as conditions of tenancy.
The tenant is the person who signs the lease agreement. Public housing lease agreements can only be signed by one person. It is the tenant's responsibility to ensure that everyone who lives at or visits the property abides by the conditions of the lease agreement.
There are three main types of lease agreements in public housing:
- a probationary lease agreement
- fixed term lease agreement
- ongoing lease agreement.
Probationary lease agreement
All new tenants are placed on a probationary lease agreement for the first twelve months.
If you meet all the conditions of that agreement you'll be offered a fixed term lease agreement.
If you don't meet all the conditions of the probationary lease agreement:
- you may not be offered another lease agreement and you will have to leave the property
- in some circumstances, you may be offered a second probationary lease agreement.
Fixed term lease agreement
The duration of a fixed term lease agreement depends on your personal situation and how well you have met the conditions of the probationary lease agreement. Fixed term lease agreements can be for:
- one year
- two years
- five years
- ten years.
Housing SA will take into account:
- whether you successfully maintained a debt arrangement if you have a debt to Housing SA
- the number, frequency and seriousness of any disruptive complaints upheld against your household - eg excessive and continuous noise
- the condition you kept the property in
- whether you told Housing SA about anyone moving in or out of your household
- whether you told Housing SA about the full amount of income your household receives
- whether there's been any illegal activity at the property.
Ongoing lease agreements
An ongoing lease agreement is one without an end date. These agreements aren't being issued anymore, and only apply to:
- people who were housed before 1 October 2010 and still live in the property
- people who were the partner of a tenant housed before 1 October 2010, and who had the tenancy transferred to them.
Tenants with an ongoing lease agreement continue on this type of agreement provided they continue to meet all the conditions.
Lease agreement reviews
These reviews are to:
- allow Housing SA to inspect the condition of your property
- make sure you're meeting all the conditions of your lease agreement
- talk about any concerns Housing SA may have and how they can help you
- give you an opportunity to talk to Housing SA about any problems or questions you might have.
Housing SA will contact you to organise a time to visit you at home:
- after the first six months if you're on a probationary lease agreement
- shortly before your lease agreement is due to expire.
You can choose to have someone with you during the review - eg family member, support worker.
If you can't attend the appointment you should contact Housing SA as soon as possible to:
- reschedule your appointment
- organise a representative - eg partner, family member, to attend on your behalf. Housing SA will only agree to this if there are good reasons why you can't attend.
Your lease may not be renewed and you will be asked to leave if you:
- don't allow Housing SA access to your property during the appointment
- don't attend the appointments and can't be contacted by Housing SA.
You'll be sent a letter notifying you of the outcome of your lease agreement review.
Difficulties meeting the conditions
If you're having problems meeting any of the conditions of your lease agreement you should contact Housing SA as soon as possible. They will try to help you fix the problem. This could include:
- connecting you with organisations and services who can help you resolve the issue
- negotiating a debt arrangement
- providing advice and information on your responsibilities and what else you can do.
For more information contact Housing SA.