Community housing rents and charges

Market rent is the maximum amount of rent you can be charged. It’s based on the State Valuer-General’s annual assessment of the property you rent and takes into account its size, nature and location.

If community housing providers choose to use an independent valuer, the valuer must update the market rent at least every 2 years.  Community housing providers manage both social and affordable housing.

All community housing policies are available at community housing master agreements

General tenancies - social housing

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

  • 25% of gross assessable household income, or 30% for moderate income households – types of assessable income
  • all Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) available to that household.

Moderate household incomes

If you have a moderate household income, your subsidised rent will increase in stages from 25% to 30% of your total assessable household income before tax from 1 July 2021.

You have a moderate household income if both these apply:

  • your total assessable household income before tax is equal to or more than the moderate rent limits
  • you or your partner don’t receive an income support payment  from Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs, for example JobSeeker, Disability Support Pension, Age Pension.

Moderate household incomes – Housing SA

As of 1 July 2021, tenants with a moderate household income will have 26% of the total assessable income used to calculate rent.

Rent increases by 1% of the assessable income twice a year, in line with scheduled subsidised rent reviews in 2022 and 2023.

Increases occur until 30% of the assessable income is used to calculate rent.

This change affects you if all these conditions occur:

  • you live in public or community housing, including a public housing property that’s been transferred to a community housing provider since 2015
  • you pay subsidised rent
  • you have a moderate household income.

Changes to the household income

Rent will be 25% of your total assessable household income before tax if your income changes and it’s less than the moderate rent limits.

If it changes and is equal to or more than the moderate rent limits, your rent will be the moderate rent rate applied at the most recent increase.

If you’re no longer eligible for subsidised rent, you’re charged market rent.

Supported tenancies - social housing

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 can 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.

Voluntary charges

Volunteer member-tenant managed organisations can charge tenants an extra fee if they’re not a registered member. This fee can’t be applied if an adult in the household is a registered member.

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

Some volunteer member-tenant organisations choose not to charge the fee, but might require people to become members before they house them. See ‘Voluntary Charges’ in the Community housing rent procedure for General Tenancies (710 KB PDF)

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. See “Additional Services Levies” in Community housing rent procedure for General Tenancies (710 KB PDF)

Rent increases and decreases

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

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.

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.

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. The person listed on the lease agreement is responsible for the rent being paid in full 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.


If you have any questions about rent or other charges in a community housing organisation, contact your community housing provider. Other information is available to help resolve problems with your community housing provider.

Related information

On this site

List of community housing providers

Rent management

For an alternative version of a document on this page contact SA Housing Authority

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Page last updated 15 May 2023

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