KEY POLICY AREA: Property Management
APPROVED DATE: 30th September 2007
MODIFIED DATE: 28th November 2012
RELEVANT LEGISLATION: RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 1997
STANDARDS, PROTOCOLS AND POLICY LINKAGE: NATIONAL COMMUNITY HOUSING STANDARDS 1.2 QUALITY ASSURANCE POLICY RENT PROCEDURES
Wayss provides housing to people on low incomes and will therefore charge rent that is affordable and calculated based on income as per Office of Housing (OoH) policy.
Tenants can expect to receive verbal and written information on what their rent payment is, how to pay and what processes Wayss will follow if they have rent arrears.
Tenants have the responsibility to inform Wayss of any changes in their circumstances which would alter their rent payments. Property Services is to ensure that a monthly Rent Remittance report, including actual rent and acquittal reports are submitted to the OoH within 10 working days of the end of the reporting month. Rent is administered in accordance with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
METHOD OF CALCULATING RENT PAYMENTS
The amount of rebated rent that a tenant is to pay is calculated from their income statement or three consecutive pay slips in accordance with the policy set by the OoH. If income is not submitted by the time the paperwork is being prepared the tenant will be charged the full market rental on the property until income information is received by the Property Services Worker. When this occurs, rent will be recalculated in accordance with the income information and the tenant’s balance adjusted.
Wayss aims to ensure that total arrears for all stock does not exceed 10% as per the funding agreement. All arrears are processed in accordance with OoH policy and Wayss Rent Procedures.
A tenant’s rent is reviewed upon notification to Property Services by the tenant or the Case Worker of a change in financial circumstances of the tenant.
Tenants can apply to have their rent reduced for a period of up to six (6) months if they are away from their property and are in:
- A nursing home
- A rehabilitation centre
- Respite care
To be eligible for the reduced rent of $15.00 per week tenants must provide evidence to Property Services that they are staying in one of the above places and paying a fee for their accommodation. Tenants who are not paying a fee will be required to continue to pay their rent as normal during the absence.
Any applications for a reduction in rent must be put in writing and will be reviewed by the Property Services Manager, who will make a decision whether or not to approve the rent reduction and for how long.
Tenants who go into prison can have their rent reduced to $15 per week for a period of up to three (3) months only. If the tenant is in custody for longer than 3 months, the Property Services Manager may seek to end the tenancy. This reduction is a one off reduction and if the tenant re-offends and is sent to prison at a later period, their rent will not be reduced and the Property Services Manager may seek to end the tenancy.
In all other absences, tenants will be required to pay their regular rental amount and are not entitled to a reduced rent.
OVER PAYMENT OF RENT
In cases of overpayment of rent by the tenant, refunds will be applied according to Wayss procedures.
In cases of financial difficulties Wayss will assess each case on an individual basis dependent upon the circumstances and extent of the difficulties. The General Manager People, Places and Quality will make the final decision on a tenants rent payments.
REPORTING TO THE HOUSING REGISTRAR
The Housing Registrar requires annual reporting of performance measures in relation to rent which is generated from PAMS on the following:
- Rent forgone due to vacant tenancies
- Rent outstanding from current tenants
- Arrears written off as bad debt
- Current tenants owing more than 8 weeks rent
EVALUATION AND REVIEW
The policy will be reviewed as part of a formal review process or due to changes in Office of Housing policy or legislation.