skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Division 4: How rent allowance is worked out

7.8.19 Working out rent allowance

  1. In this section, rent is taken to be the lower of these amounts.

    1. The fortnightly rent paid by the member for a property.

    2. The approved rent ceiling for the property.

  2. The rate of rent allowance is worked out using this formula.

    the rent – the contribution provided for the member under Division 3 and Annex 7.D.

  3. These tables show how to apply the formula in subsection 2 to different groups of members.

    Example 1

    Example table 1: Rent allowance for a member with dependants using a three-bedroom ceiling

    Item If the member is... then the least of these amounts... less their contribution of... less this amount...
    1. living with dependants only
    1. the actual rent.
    2. the rent ceiling that applies to them.
    See: Annex 7.E Part 1.1
    the amount that applies for their rank group in Annex 7.D Part 1, table column 4
    nil.
    2. subletting part of the property to a person who is not their dependant
    1. the actual rent.
    2. the rent ceiling that applies to them.
    See: Annex 7.E Part 1.1
    the amount that applies for their rank group in Annex 7.D Part 1 column 4 the fortnightly amount of sub-lease rent.

    Example 2

    Example table 2: Rent allowance for a member with dependants (unaccompanied) and member without dependants

    Item If the member... then the least of these amounts... less their contribution of...
    1. lives alone
    1. the actual rent.
    2. the rent ceiling that applies to them.
    See: Annex 7.E Part 2
    the amount that applies for their rank group in Annex 7.D Part 2 column 2.
    2. is sharing with one other person
    1. the actual rent divided by two.
    2. the rent ceiling that applies to them.
    See: Annex 7.E Part 3
    the amount that applies for their rank group in Annex 7.D Part 2 column 3.
    3. is sharing with two other persons
    1. the actual rent divided by three.
    2. the rent ceiling that applies to them.
    See: Annex 7.E Part 4
    the amount that applies for their rank group in Annex 7.D Part 2 column 4.
    4. lives in a boarding house
    1. the actual rent paid.
    2. the rent ceiling that applies to them.
    See: Annex 7.E Part 4
    the amount that applies for their rank group in Annex 7.D Part 2 column 4.

    Example for table 2, item 2: A Corporal shares with a Sergeant. The rent ceilings that could apply for the home are lower than the actual rent.
    The Corporal works out 50% of their rank group's two-bedroom rent allowance ceiling and subtracts the contribution for their rank. This is the Corporal's rent allowance.
    The Sergeant works out 50% of their rank group's two-bedroom rent allowance ceiling and subtracts the contribution for their rank. This is the Sergeant's rent allowance.

7.8.20 Shared home

  1. This section applies to a member who meets both these conditions.

    1. They are a member without dependants or a member with dependants (unaccompanied).

    2. They share a house that they get rent allowance for.

  2. The fortnightly rate of rent allowance is worked out using the following formula.

    (the fortnightly rate of rent ÷ the number of residents) – contribution

  3. A visitor to the house may affect the amount of rent allowance a member is eligible for. If the visit is for less than four weeks, rent allowance will not be affected. If the visit is for four weeks or more, this table shows the effect on the member's rent allowance.

    Effect on rent allowance
    Item If the visitor has... then they are...
    1. a permanent home at another location. Not taken to be a resident.
    The visit will not affect the member's rent allowance.
    2. no permanent home. Taken to be a resident.
    The visit will reduce the member's rent allowance from the first day of their stay.

    Example:A member shares a house with two other members. They pay $660 rent in total and $70 each contribution a fortnight. The member's rent allowance is $150 a fortnight (that is, (660 ÷ 3) – 70). The member's itinerant adult cousin visits and stays for four weeks. The member's rent allowance is $95 a fortnight (that is, (660 ÷ 4) – 70).

  4. The member must inform the Housing Management Centre Manager in writing if a person will be living in their home for longer than four weeks. The CDF will then decide if the member is subletting their home. The CDF must consider all the circumstances in which the person is living in the home.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 7.8.20.4 on behalf of the CDF:
An employee of Defence Housing Australia who performs the duties of:

  • Team Leader in the Housing Contact Centre
  • Regional Housing Specialist in the Housing Management Centre
  • Housing Contact Centre Manager
  • Regional Director in a Housing Management Centre
  • National Housing Manager

7.8.21 House-sitter for absent member

  1. This section applies to a member who meets all the following conditions.

    1. The member is a member without dependants or a member with dependants (unaccompanied).

    2. The member is absent from rental accommodation on deployment or temporary duty.

    3. The member has arranged for a house-sitter to occupy their rent allowance accommodation.

  2. If all the following conditions are met, the house-sitter will not affect the amount of a member's rent allowance.

    1. The house-sitter pays no rent to the member for the rent allowance accommodation.

    2. The house-sitter leaves when the member returns from the deployment or temporary duty.

    3. The house-sitter does not normally share with the member.

  3. The member must inform the Housing Management Centre Manager in writing if a person will be living in their home.

  4. If a house-sitter pays rent to the member for the rent allowance accommodation the member is taken to have sublet the property.

    See: Section 7.8.23, Home is sublet

7.8.22 Resident child carer

  1. A member may have a resident child carer living with the family.

    See: Part 1 Division 3 section 7.1.14, for the definition of resident child carer.

  2. The member must inform their unit administrator in writing when either of the following occurs.

    1. A resident child carer moves into their rented home. The member is to provide a date when the arrangement is expected to end, if known.

    2. A resident child carer moves out of their home.

    See: Chapter 1 Part 5 section 1.5.2, Change in member's circumstances

  3. The member's unit administrator must forward the information provided by the member under subsection 2 to the Housing Management Centre Manager at Defence Housing Australia.

    Note: The disclosure in this section is necessary to ensure that a member's housing benefits are not reduced. It also helps to clarify that the person living in the house is not intended by the member to become a dependant.

  4. The resident child carer will not affect the amount of the member's rent allowance.

7.8.23 Home is sublet

  1. This section applies to a member in either of the following situations.

    1. The member is a member with dependants who sublets part of a home that they get rent allowance for.

    2. The member meets all of the following conditions.

      1. The member is a member without dependants or a member with dependants (unaccompanied).

      2. The member is on deployment for more than six months.

      3. The member has sublet a home, or part of a home, that they get rent allowance for.

        Exception: Where a member ordinarily shares with another person. That member's rent allowance is calculated in accordance with section 7.8.20.

        See: Section 7.8.20, Shared home

  2. The rate of rent allowance is a fortnightly rate worked out using this formula.

    the rent – (contribution + the fortnightly rate of sub-lease rent)

    See: Section 7.8.3 for the definition of sub-lease rent

  3. The member must inform the Housing Management Centre Manager in writing if a person will be living in their home for longer than four weeks. The CDF will then decide if the member is subletting their home. The CDF must consider all the circumstances in which the person is living in the home.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 7.8.23.3 on behalf of the CDF:
An employee of Defence Housing Australia who performs the duties of:

  • Team Leader in the Housing Contact Centre
  • Regional Housing Specialist in the Housing Management Centre
  • Housing Contact Centre Manager
  • Regional Director in a Housing Management Centre
  • National Housing Manager

7.8.24 Allowance and contribution for dependant who is also a member

  1. This table sets out who gets rent allowance and pays the contribution, if a member's adult dependant is also a member and both occupy a rented home for which the allowance is payable.

    Allowance and contribution
    Item If the members have... the allowance and contribution apply only to the member with the...
    1. different ranks higher rank.
    2. the same rank greater seniority.
  2. Only one contribution is payable by a member and their adult dependant jointly under subsection 1, if they meet all these conditions.

    1. They are both members.

    2. One of them is a member with dependants (unaccompanied) under Chapter 8 Part 3 Division 1 subsection 8.3.6.4.

      See: Chapter 8 Part 3 Division 1 section 8.3.6, Member who may be classified as a member with dependants (unaccompanied)

    3. The other is a member with dependants.

  3. However, no contribution is payable by either member under subsection 2, if one of the members occupies a suitable own home.

7.8.25 Furniture rental

  1. This section applies to these members.

    1. A member without dependants.

    2. A member with dependants (unaccompanied).

  2. The member may include the cost of hiring some items in the cost of rent. The total cost must not be more than their rent ceiling. This table sets out what costs may or may not be included.

    See: Division 2 for rent ceilings

    Note: The member's rent ceiling may be increased under paragraph 7.8.12.2.c.

    Furniture rental
    Item A member may include in the cost of rent the hire cost of a... but not the hire cost of a...
    1. dining table and 4 chairs television.
    2. lounge suite or chairs DVD, bluray or video player.
    3. bed and bedside table stereo.
    4. refrigerator piece of office furniture.
    5. microwave computer.
    6. washing machine video game console.
    7. vacuum cleaner kitchen and linen pack.
    8. clothes dryer bedside or desk lamp.
    9. coffee table
    10. outdoor setting
    Exception for all the items above: A member with dependants (unaccompanied) who owns similar items used in their dependants' home.
  3. A member must not be paid an amount for any of the following costs under this section.

    1. Hire costs that assist the member to buy furniture.

      Example: A member who enters a 'rent-to-buy' scheme to get a refrigerator cannot count that cost as rent.

    2. The cost of an item that is already in the home and available for the member's use.

    3. The cost of an item that the member already owns and that it is reasonable for them to use in the rented home.

      Example: The member owns two microwaves. It is reasonable for the member to take one of them to the rented home and leave one with their dependants.

  4. The rules about rent ceiling increases apply to a member this section applies to.

    Note: This means that a member without dependants cannot apply for a rent ceiling increase to hire items in the table in subsection 2.

    See: Division 2 sections 7.8.12 to 7.8.15.

7.8.26 Major General – reduced rent allowance

  1. This section applies to a member who meets both of these conditions.

    1. They hold the rank of Major General.

    2. They rent a home of the same standard as a class D Service residence.

  2. The member's rent allowance is worked out as if the member was a Brigadier.

7.8.27 Member promoted

  1. This section applies to a member who is eligible for rent allowance and is promoted.

  2. If the member stays in the same rank group, their eligibility for rent allowance will not change.

  3. If the member does not stay in the same rank group, their benefit may change. The amount they must contribute toward rent costs may also increase.

    See: Division 3, Contributions

  4. The member may apply in writing to the CDF to have their benefit reviewed. The review must be based on whether the member's rent ceiling is affected by their change in rank group. The member can ask for the review either before or after they are promoted. The CDF must notify the member of their decision in writing.

  5. If the CDF determines that the amounts of rent allowance and contribution should change, the new rates are payable from the latest of these dates.

    1. The day the member is promoted.

    2. A day chosen by the member.

  6. When the member moves out of the home, all later benefits will be assessed at the higher rank.

    Example: A member is promoted from Captain to Major and applies to the Defence Housing Australia to have their rent allowance adjusted to the rent allowance ceiling for a Major. They would also pay the contribution for a Major.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 7.8.27.4 on behalf of the CDF:
An employee of Defence Housing Australia who performs the duties of:

  • Team Leader in the Housing Contact Centre
  • Regional Housing Specialist in the Housing Management Centre
  • Housing Contact Centre Manager
  • Regional Director in a Housing Management Centre
  • National Housing Manager
  • Complex Consultant in the Housing Contact Centre

7.8.28 Member reduced in rank

  1. This section applies to a member who is eligible for rent allowance and is reduced in rank.

  2. If the member's rank group changes, their eligibility for rent allowance would normally change. This is because the contribution rates that apply to the member would be the ones for the lower rank group. However, the rent ceiling would remain at the higher rank group rate.

  3. The contribution the member must make toward the cost of rent is reduced if they belong to a lower rank group after demotion.

    See: Annex 7.D, Contributions for rent allowance

  4. The reduced contribution under subsection 3 starts on the day the member's demotion takes effect.

  5. Despite subsection 2, the member does not get a lower rent ceiling from the day that their rank is reduced.

    See: Division 2, Rent ceilings

  6. The member may move into another home that they get rent allowance for. In this case, the rent ceiling for the member is reduced to the amount that applies to their new rank group. The reduced rent ceiling applies from the day the member moves out of the home they were living in at the time they were demoted.

  7. A member who has been reduced in rank must notify the Defence Housing Australia in writing. This allows the Defence Housing Australia to assess whether the reduction in rank has any effect on the member's contribution.

7.8.29 Changing homes at the posting location

  1. A member must re-apply for rent allowance if they move to another rented home at their posting location.

  2. A rent ceiling increase approved for a previous home cannot be kept for the new home.

  3. The member can seek a rent ceiling increase for the new home under section 7.8.12. They must include any evidence that section requires.

    See: Division 2 section 7.8.12, CDF may increase rent ceiling

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.



I want to know more...

Further info

Contact

Defence Housing Australia

139 342

www.dha.gov.au

Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)

YourCustomer.Service@defence.gov.au