Tenant Contribution, Rent, and Leases
The maximum that Housing Tasmania charges is the Market Rent. The Market Rent is reviewed annually using information provided by the Valuer Generals Office of Tasmania. Notice given for increases in Market Rent occur in accordance with the Residential Tenancy Act, section 20. Section 20 requires 60 days notice of a rent increase, or 6 months where the tenancy has existed for less than 60 days. There can not be an increase in rent more than once every six months (s20(3(c)).
Public Housing Rent Assistance
Most tenants do not pay the market rent because they pay a tenant contribution. The difference between the tenant contribution and the market rent is the public housing rent assistance. This is not paid direct to the tenant but is deducted from the market rent.
Housing Tasmania’s rent setting policy changed on 24 October 2011.
The tenant contribution is calculated at 25% of assessable and calculable household income.
To ensure tenants have time to get used to the changes, some are being moved gradually to the new model. Therefore a variable rent setting model also exists for a small number of tenants.
See the Public Housing Rent Setting Fact Sheet for information on procedure and policy.
The tenant contribution may be changed at any time where there has been a change in household income and Housing Tasmania is not required to provide notice of the change as required by the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (Tas).
Clients are required to notify Housing Tasmania of any change in circumstances that may affect household income. This may include changes in the number of household members, fluctuations in household income level. Housing Tasmania periodically checks household income and adjusts the tenant contribution accordingly through sending tenants a Household Income Statement to complete or through Centrelink’s Income Confirmation service.
Housing Tasmania Leases align with the Residential Tenancy Act (see Residential Tenancies).
Tenant’s/Housing Tasmania’s Responsibilities
Responsibilities are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act.
Maintenance and Repairs
These are also covered by the Residential Tenancy Act, however in many respects Housing Tasmania offers wider coverage than that required under the Act.
Housing Tasmania requires reasons before consenting to tenants transferring from one dwelling to another. Housing Tasmania will also consider the tenant’s history with regard to the payment of rent and other issues arising in the course of the tenancy.
The following are the most common reasons for allowing transfers.
- Ill Health. Where their current home is impacting on the health of a member of the household and a transfer will result in improvement of that persons health.
- Overcrowding. Where there is an increase to the household, say through a birth, adoption or relative residing in the dwelling, Housing Tasmania may consider a transfer.
- Family Violence. This includes situations where Housing Tasmania believes a transfer will remove an occupant or occupants from physical danger.
- Under-occupancy. A transfer may be considered where family size has decreased.
- Nominal transfers. Upon death, separation or remarriage of the tenant, the remaining occupant can ask Housing Tasmania to have the lease put in their name. Until a change of lease, the new tenant cannot be held responsible for rent or cost of repairs owing from the previous tenant. This situation is covered by Housing Tasmania’s Succession of Tenure Policy.