Rent Policy

Northern Suburbs Housing Community determines rent in accordance with Renewal SA’s Rent Policy.

This Rent Policy is applicable to all community housing providers in South Australia who manage properties funded by the South Australian government.

The Association has no discretion to vary any rent calculation that it makes, other than when there has been a change in a tenant’s circumstances.

What is the Rent?

Renewal SA’s Rent Policy includes an affordability guarantee.

Rent is determined based on either the tenant’s household income (income based rent) or the market rent (maximum rent) for the property.

Rent which is based on household income, provides an affordability guarantee – the lower your household income, the lower your base rent will be. Household Income is the gross assessable income (that is, before tax) of each person residing in the house added together.

Income based rent is generally 25% of gross assessable income (referred to as base rent) plus the maximum amount of Commonwealth Rent Assistance a tenant is eligible to receive.

Northern Suburbs Housing Community is notified of revised market rents that are applicable for the following 12 months in August each year.

Northern Suburbs Housing Community calculates rent based on both methods (Income Based and Market Rent) and will then apply the lower of the two calculations. This is the affordability guarantee!

Accurately calculating rent is a complex calculation that can not be done manually. However, to demonstrate whether a tenant will pay income based rent or market rent, consider the following scenarios.

The following assumptions have been applied, maximum Commonwealth Rent Assistance is $65 per week, whilst Market rent for the property is $300 per week. Each example below excludes any Tenant Services Charge or Additional Services Levy applicable to a property.

Tenant A

Weekly assessable income is $480 per week.
25% of weekly assessable income is $120.
Add maximum Commonwealth Rent Assistance ($65) would make income based rent $185 per week.
Compared to $300 per week market rent, Tenant A would pay income based rent.

Tenant B

Weekly assessable income is $1,000 per week.
25% of weekly assessable income is $250.
Add maximum Commonwealth Rent Assistance ($65) would make income based rent $315 per week.
Compared to $300 per week market rent, Tenant B would pay market rent.

The above scenarios are examples only. Each rent calculation takes into account tenant/s income and the market rent for the property being rented.

Tenant Services Charge

Tenant Services Charge are in additional to your rent and not eligible for any Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

Water Charge

In addition to the rent, the Association charges tenants for water in accordance  with the Office of Consumer and Business Services Fact Sheet for charging for water.

The Association has a mix of properties with either individual water meters or common (shared) water meters.

Where there is a common (shared) water meter the Association divides the water usage evenly between the number of units sharing the common (shared) water meter.

Gas Charge

The Association has some properties with a common (shared) gas meter which provides gas to a number of gas hot water service at the property.

Between 2009 and 2014 the state government legislated that storage electric hot water services could not be replaced “like for like”. The Association determined to replace such hot water services with a gas hot water service.

This gas service is not available to tenants to install additional gas appliances.

Tenants are advised of the charg when they are offered accommodation at one of these properties.

Electricity Charge

The Association has one property with a number of shared laundries which have a common (shared) gas and electricity meter.

Tenants equally share the supply and usage of both the gas and the electricity.

Tenants are advised of the charge when they are offered accommodation at this property.

Additional Services Levy

Additional Services Levy are included in your rent and are eligible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

Air-conditioning Levy

The Association is endeavouring to supply and install energy efficient split system air-conditioners in all of its units. This will take some time before all units have such air-conditioning.

Tenants that are allocated a unit with an energy efficient split system air-conditioner will pay a fortnightly levy to maintain and eventually replace such an air-conditioner when it is considered to be no longer economic to repair.

Amenities Levy

The Association charges a fortnightly Amenities Levy to cover the cost of providing and maintaining floor coverings (carpet, vinyl, polished floorboards) and basic window treatments to front facing windows.

How Is Rent Paid?

Northern Suburbs Housing Community has a Direct Debit facility with its bank. New tenants are required to use Direct Debit to pay their rent. The Direct Debit facility is provided at no cost to tenants.

The Association does not have a facility by which tenants can manually pay their rent at the office.

Northern Suburbs Housing Community also has a “common” rent day – every alternate Saturday. The next rent day can be checked by clicking here. A Direct Debit will be set up to deduct your rent from your nominated bank account every alternate Thursday. This day has historically been when tenants paid their rent as it was the day after Centrelink paid pensions, before you could nominate the day you want to receive your pension.

Northern Suburbs Housing Community recommends that tenants request Centrelink to change their benefit/pension day to the day before the Direct Debit withdrawal to minimise as much as possible any possibility that there are insufficient funds in your nominated bank account to cover your rent.

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