Paying the Rent Fact Sheet

Paying the Rent - Plain English

Paying the Rent - Easy English

At Housing Tasmania, rent is usually called the 'tenant contribution'. This is the amount that tenants have to pay to live in a Housing Tasmania home. Most tenants pay rent fortnightly. You need to pay the rent two weeks in advance.

The tenant contribution is 25% of the household income. This means that it is one quarter of what everyone who lives in the household earns. We explain this in more detail on the next page. The tenant contribution of 25% is a good rate. In Australia, rent that is 30% of household income is thought to be affordable.

What is household income?

Household income is the amount of money that everyone living in your home earns. If you have children or dependents who are under 16 years of age living with you, any income they have is not included. Income includes things like:

  • wages
  • Centrelink benefits
  • Veteran Affairs benefits
  • overseas pensions
  • child support payments
  • superannuation payments for people who have retired
  • interest payments
  • some lump sum payments.

Not all of these things are calculated in the same way. There may also be other types of income.

Telling Housing Tasmania about your household income

You must always let us know when there is a change in your household.

People who live in Housing Tasmania homes must complete a Household Income Statement. This is a form that you need to complete. It explains how much everyone in your household earns.

You will also need to complete a Household Income Statement if your household income changes. For example, you or your partner might have a new baby or an adult sharing the home with you may move out. This kind of change in your circumstances will change the amount of the tenant contribution.

If you don't want to complete the Household Income Statement every time something changes, you can use Income Confirmation instead. To do this, you give Housing Tasmania permission to receive your income details directly from Centrelink. Centrelink can't give us your information without your permission.

You still need to let us know when there is a change when you use Income Confirmation.

When we ask, they will tell us:

  • the type of pension or payment you receive
  • the amount of your last payment, and the next one
  • any other income you have
  • the number of dependent children you have
  • any money that has been taken out of your payments, such as rent or child support
  • assets you have, such as shares, savings or property.

We will use this information to help us calculate the tenant contribution.

It's ok to change your mind about using Income Confirmation.

All you need to do is write to us and tell us you don't want us to use Income Confirmation anymore.

What is market rent?

Market rent is the amount that a home would cost to rent in the private rental market.  Market rent is higher than the tenant contribution. The difference between the market rent and the tenant contribution is covered by Housing Tasmania.

However, in some cases, the amount of the tenant contribution adds up to more than the amount of the market rent.

In these situations, tenants pay the market rent.

So you will never pay more than market rent for a Housing Tasmania home.

The market rent is set by using information from the office of the Valuer General.

It is reviewed every year.

What happens if you don't tell us about your income?

If you don't tell us about your household income, we will charge you the market rent of your home.

Michelle's story

Michelle lives in a shared home with two other adults – Vanessa and Krystal. Together, their household income is about $1,000 per fortnight. This means that their tenant contribution is about $250 per fortnight.

Recently, Vanessa moved out. Michelle realised that she needed to tell Housing Tasmania that the number of people living in the home had changed. When Vanessa left, the household income dropped, so Housing Tasmania adjusted the rent. This took some time to do. This is because the rent is worked out on the total household income.

More information

Other fact sheets that might be useful:

  • If you are going to be away
  • Offering you a home
  • Signing a lease

Our contact details

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Housing Tasmania - 1300 665 663

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TTY users phone 133 677, then ask for 1300 13 55 13. Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 13 55 13.

Internet relay users connect to the NRS then ask for 1300 13 55 13.

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Department of Communities Tasmania
GPO Box 65
HOBART TAS 7001

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www.communities.tas.gov.au/housing