Running a business from public housing
A home business includes any work that takes place in your property including any online business that someone in your household receives income from.
You must get written permission from Housing SA to run a business from home. Permission will usually be given if:
- the business won't disturb the comfort, privacy or peace of your neighbours
- the business will comply with all relevant legislation
- you take out the appropriate insurance
- you get all the relevant licences or registration required by law
- the business will comply with any regulations imposed by the relevant authority or body - eg your local council.
How to apply
Housing SA will notify you if your request is approved before you may proceed. If approval from Housing SA is not received before a business is started you will breach your conditions of tenancy and may incur charges.
You must also get written approval from Housing SA before you make any alterations to your home.
Complaints from neighbours
If your neighbours complain to Housing SA about noise issues from your business, you may be asked to modify how your business is run - eg change your start time to a later hour or stop running the business from home.
You may be asked to do this even if you have complied with all of the appropriate legislation and other conditions.
Rent assessments and self-employment
You must declare all of your household income, including money made from self-employment, when asked to do so by Housing SA. You'll need to include proof of income for everyone in your household who receives an income.
If you are self-employed you can provide one of these:
- your most recent tax return showing your net business income. This is your gross income minus expenses. You should delete your tax file number before lodging it with Housing SA.
- a letter from a certified accountant or registered tax consultant showing your personal gross weekly or annual income.
You can request a rent assessment form online or contact Housing SA.
Rent assessments for new businesses
If your business is new and you haven't submitted a tax return yet you can complete a statutory declaration showing your estimated net business income for one year. Housing SA will use this to set an interim rent until a tax return is lodged.
The statutory declaration must be signed and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace. Statutory declarations are available from:
- a post office
- Housing SA.
Once you lodge your first tax return give a copy to Housing SA. Your rent will be reassessed on the basis of your actual income as stated on your tax return. This may result in a refund or you may have to pay the additional rent.
If the interim rent was set too high
The difference between the reassessed rent and the interim rent charged for the period will be credited to your Housing SA account. You can arrange to have the credit transferred to your bank or posted to you as a cheque by contacting Housing SA.
An example of an interim rent set too high
Rent calculated based on an estimated income on a statutory declaration = $175 rent per week.
Rent calculated based on the actual income shown on the tax return = $165 rent per week.
$175 - $165 = $10 per week.
If you were charged rent at $175 per week for 12 weeks the amount credited to your Housing SA account for that period is $120 ($10 x 12).
If the interim rent was set too low
The difference between the reassessed rent and the interim rent charged for the period will be raised as a debt on your Housing SA account. If you are unable to pay this in full you can make an affordable repayment arrangement by contacting Housing SA.