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Amount of Rent Paid

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Last updated 12 January 2007

Frequency of rent payment

Persons who pay rent on a regular basis, may be eligible to receive rent assistance. This also applies to persons who do not pay rent on a regular basis, provided they pay or are liable to pay rent at least annually.    

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Eligibility for rent assistance

Section 5.1.2

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Examples of rental situations, where rent is not paid on a regular basis

The following are examples of rent that is not paid on a regular basis to reside in that premises:

  • site fees for a mobile home,
  • service or maintenance fees for services provided in a HOTWORD "Def retirement village">retirement village, or
  • service or maintenance fees as a condition of occupancy in a home subject to a HOTWORD "Def sale leaseback agreement">sale leaseback agreement.
Adjustment of partner's rent when separated due to illness

Where a pensioner couple are residing in rented accommodation, and one member of the couple enters care, for assessment purposes, the amount of rent the partner pays should be adjusted.    

Assessment of rent amount that includes board

    

If a person pays for board and lodging and the component paid for accommodation cannot be identified, two thirds of the total amount paid is considered to be rent. For automatic assessment purposes, 67% of the total amount paid is calculated.

Examples of residential situations where the rent amount may include board.

The following residential situations may include a component for board in the rent amount:

  • boarders,
  • nursing home patients not subsidised by the Australian Government,
  • retirement village residents, or
  • persons in a care situation.
Person paying rent for two premises

    

If a person leaves their principal home to provide or receive community based care in another residence and they are paying rent in respect of both residences, rent is assessed in respect of the residence that generates the higher amount of rent assistance.    

Discrepancy between rent paid and rent required to be paid

Situations may occur where the amount of rent payable is actually higher than the amount of rent paid. In such situations, rent assistance is to be calculated using the higher amount. However, details as to why rent is being paid at a lower level than the payable amount should be obtained and verified with the landlord.

Example of a rent discrepancy

An example of this situation is where a landlord has increased the rent payable on a property but the tenant is in dispute with the landlord and is still paying at the lower rate.


Rent Assistance is an allowance, which may be paid to a service pensioner or income support supplement (ISS) recipient to assist in meeting the cost of rental accommodation.

To receive rent assistance, a pensioner must be paying rent (other than Government rent) for accommodation in Australia, and the amount paid must exceed a certain threshold.

According to subsection 5M(3) of the VEA, premises constitute a retirement village if:

  • the premises are residential premises; and
  • accommodation in the premises is primarily intended for persons who are at least 55 years old; and
  • the premises consist of one or more of the following kinds of accommodation:
  • self-care units;
  • serviced units;
  • hostel units; and
  • the premises include communal facilities for use by occupants of the units referred to above.

 

 

According to subsection 5MB(2) of the VEA an agreement is a sale leaseback agreement, in relation to a person, if:

  • under the agreement the person agrees to sell his or her principal home; and
  • the residence that is the person's principal home is a private residence; and
  • under the agreement the person retains a right to accommodation in the residence; and
  • under the agreement the buyer is to pay an amount when the person vacates the residence or when the person dies.

 

 

A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.

According to subsection 5M(3) of the VEA, premises constitute a retirement village if:

  • the premises are residential premises; and
  • accommodation in the premises is primarily intended for persons who are at least 55 years old; and
  • the premises consist of one or more of the following kinds of accommodation:
  • self-care units;
  • serviced units;
  • hostel units; and
  • the premises include communal facilities for use by occupants of the units referred to above.

 

 

The principal home has the meaning given by subsection 5LA(1) of the VEA and subsection 5LA(2) of the VEA. The principal home of a person is generally the place in which they reside. In certain circumstances, however, the principal home of a person can be the place in which they formerly resided. The following property is regarded as part of the principal home.

  • the residence itself (e.g. house, flat, caravan),
  • permanent fixtures (e.g. stoves, built-in heaters, dish-washers, light fittings and affixed carpets),
  • [glossary:curtilage:DEF/Curtilage] (i.e. two hectares or less of private land around the home where the private land use test has been satisfied, or all land held on the same title as the person's principal home where the extended land use test has been satisfied), or
  •       any garage, shed, tennis court or swimming pool used primarily for private purposes provided it is on the same title as the principal home.