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Non-Homeowner's Basic Assessment Rules

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Last updated 12 January 2007

Definition of a non-homeowner

A non-homeowner is a person who does not have a right or interest which gives reasonable security of tenure in the principal home.

Non-homeowner's eligibility for rent allowance

Non-homeowners do not have any right or interest in their principal home and therefore may be eligible for rent assistance.    

Residential situations where rent assistance may be payable

Person's residing in any of the residential situations listed below may be eligible to receive rent assistance, depending on the amount of rent paid.    

Residential situations where there is no rent assistance payable

Persons residing in any of the residential situations listed below are not eligible to receive rent assistance.

Note: When determining eligibility for housing assistance state government authorities do not take into account the Australian government payment of $25,000 made to World War 2 Australian ex-prisoners of the Japanese, or their widows or widowers. Income earned or derived from the payment, whether deemed or actual, is taken into account when determining a tenant's rent or an applicant's eligibility for public housing. The exception is the NSW housing department, which does not take income derived from the payment when determining the level of housing assistance.

Non-homeowner's assets limit

The higher assets limit applies to non-homeowners.    

Household contents

Household contents are not exempt. They are assessable for assets test purposes. The amount to be held is the market value, not the replacement value.    


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.

 

 

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.

Non-Government Subsidised care applies to the following groups:

  • pensioners residing in nursing homes or hostels that are not approved facility;
  • pensioners who are residing in a nursing home or hostel but who are not approved care recipients. For instance, a person may be residing in a nursing home or hostel to be near to their partner who is receiving care (known as co-habitees) or a person may be in a multi purpose service (MPS) unit; and
  • pensioners residing in an approved facility but who receive accommodation only, require no care and therefore are not receiving Commonwealth Government subsidised care.

No Commonwealth Government subsidy, including pensioner supplement, is payable to the facility in respect of their places.

 

 

Government Subsidised Care is care provided to persons in approved facilities.

The government subsidy (also known as “pensioner supplement”), is paid directly to the facility by DH&FS on the behalf of pensioners receiving this care.

Where a care resident pays an accommodation bond more than ten times the annual rate of social security age pension, the pensioner supplement paid by DH&FS to the aged care facility to replace rent assistance is no longer paid.

 

 

An ineligible property owner is a property owner who is ineligible for rent assistance.

According to subsection 5N(1) of the VEA, these people are not regarded as ineligible property owners and therefore may be eligible for rent assistance:

  • a person who is a property owner by virtue of paragraph 5L(4)(c) (proceeds of sale of principal home disregarded for 12 months); or
  • a person who:
  • is absent from the person's principal home, in relation to which the person is a property owner; and
  • is in a care situation but is not residing in a retirement village; or
  • a person who:
  • is absent from the person's principal home, in relation to which the person is a property owner; and
  • is personally providing community-based care for another person; or
  • a person who pays amounts for the use of a site for a caravan or other vehicle, or a structure, that is the person's principal home; or
  • a person who pays amounts for the right to moor a vessel that is the person's principal home.

 

 

A widow is a woman who was:

  • the partner of a person immediately before the person died; or
  • legally married to a man and living with him immediately before he died; or
  • legally married to a man and living separetely and apart from him on a permanent basis, immediately before he died.

A widower is a man who was:

  • the partner of a person immediately before the person died: or
  • legally married to a woman and living with her immediately before she died; or
  • legally married to a woman and living separetely and apart from her on a permanent basis immediately before she died.

According to section 5H of the VEA income is:

  • an amount earned, derived or received by a person for the person's own use or benefit;
  • a periodical payment by way of gift or allowance; or
  • a periodical benefit by way of gift or allowance.