Public and community housing

Community housing rents and charges

The maximum rent you can be charged for a community housing property is its market rent which is set by the Valuer-General and is reviewed annually. Community housing providers manage both social and affordable housing.

Social housing

General tenants

Households are charged a maximum rent that is no more than the total of both:

  • 25% of gross assessable household income
  • all Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) available to that household.

Supported tenants

Supported tenancies that meet the community housing eligibility criteria and have an approved package of support attached to their tenancy will be charged a maximum rent that is no more than the total of both:

  • 25% of gross non-Commonwealth Rent Assessment income
  • all CRA income available to that household, unless the provider elects to set rents based on an occupancy standard and the property becomes under-occupied.

Services levies cannot be charged in addition to the maximum rent.

A provider may charge rent to supported tenant households below this maximum rent figure but must detail how that amount will be assessed in its own rent policy.

Affordable housing

For supported and affordable tenancy types, community housing providers have the flexibility to decide what income is used in determining rent charged for instance providers may wish to fully exclude or only partly assess some income types but there is no requirement to do so.

Affordable tenancy households will be charged a maximum rent that is no more than the total of both:

  • 30% of a household’s gross non-Commonwealth Rent Assessment (CRA) income
  • all CRA income available to that household, unless the provider elects to set rents based on an occupancy standard and the property becomes under-occupied.

Providing proof of income

All members of your household who receive an income will be included in your rent assessment.

You must tell your community housing provider as soon as possible if:

  • your household income changes
  • someone has moved in or out of your property.

Every six months you will be asked by your community housing provider to provide proof of income for everyone in your household. This is to make sure you are being charged the correct amount of rent.

If you or anyone in your household is receiving an income from Centrelink, you can choose to have your income details provided directly from Centrelink to your community housing organisation.

Extra charges

If you are a tenant, but not a member of a volunteer member-tenant managed organisation, you may be charged an extra fee.

This is generally 10% more than a member is charged, so if a member's rent is $80 per week, a non-member would be charged $88 per week.

This can only be applied if no adult in the household is a registered member. Some community housing providers may choose not to apply this charge.

Service charges

If a community housing provider has engaged service providers for gardening, maintenance, rent or financial management, it may pass these charges on to its tenants as service levies based on the estimated costs of the services provided.

Rent increases and decreases

The market rent of the property is reviewed annually by the Valuer-General.

Lease agreements entered into before 1 March 2014

If the market rent for your property goes up, your rent will increase by no more than $10 per week every six months until the new amount is reached.

Lease agreements entered into on or after 1 March 2014

Market rent cannot be increased until at least 12 months have passed since the start of the agreement or when the market rent was last increased. Increases in market rent can't be capped.

If your rent has increased due to a change in your income or household, you will be given 14 days written notice before the full amount of the new rent will be charged.

Rent decreases will be passed on from the next rent period after a change in household circumstances.

How long visitors can stay

Visitors can stay with you for up to 12 weeks without it affecting your rent. A person is considered to be a visitor if they have a residential address elsewhere that they intend to return to.

If your visitor has no other residential address or doesn't intend to return to another property, they are considered to be part of your household. Their income must be included in the assessment for rent as soon as they move into your property.

What happens when your rent is in arrears

Rent must be paid in full, 14 days in advance. It is the responsibility of the person listed on the lease agreement to make sure that rent in full is paid on time, regardless of who else is living at the property or their income.

If you are unable to pay rent in full or have fallen behind in your rent, you may be able to make an affordable repayment arrangement with your housing provider.

You should tell your community housing organisation as soon as possible if you can't:

  • pay the full amount of rent by the date it is due
  • maintain a repayment arrangement.

If you don't pay the rent this is breaching your lease agreement and can lead to eviction.

If you pay only part of the rent when it is due it is not counted as having paid for any of that period. You are still considered to be in rent arrears from the date the full amount of rent was due. You will no longer be in rent arrears when the remainder of the full rent amount is paid.

Contacts

If you have any questions about rent or other charges in a community housing organisation, contact your community housing provider.

If you have serious concerns that your community housing rent is not being charged in accordance with policy, contact the Office of the Housing Regulation.


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Page last updated 24 October 2018

Provided by:
South Australian Housing Authority
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/housing/public-and-community-housing/community-housing-rents-and-other-charges
Last Updated:
24/10/18
Printed on:
20/11/18
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2018