Rent Assessment Policy

Purpose

To define Alliance Housing’s approach to assessing tenant rents.

Scope

This policy applies to all properties managed by Alliance Housing across its housing programs.

Intent

Alliance Housing aims to ensure that rents charged are affordable based on the individual tenant or households financial circumstances. Where the tenant is eligible for assistance and earns insufficient household income to afford market rent, Alliance Housing may charge a discounted rent.

Policy

Rents will vary depending on the tenant’s household income and their capacity to pay and no tenant will be charged a rent higher than the individual property market rent. Tenant’s will be required to provide proof of income and eligibility to enable their rent to be determined.

1. Rent Setting

Social Housing and Affordable Rental rents will be determined consistent with the Department of Communities Community Housing Rent Setting Policy.

http://www.housing.wa.gov.au/HousingDocuments/Community_Housing_Rent_Setting_Policy.pdf

1.1 Social Housing

For tenants occupying social housing, rents will be charged at 25% of income, plus Commonwealth Rent Assistance payment. For clarity social housing tenants are considered to be Band A as defined in the Department of Communities policy.

1.2 Affordable Rental

For tenants occupying affordable rental, generally higher income households, rents may be charged at 30% of income, plus any applicable Commonwealth Rent Assistance payment. For clarity social housing tenants are considered to be Band B as defined in the Department of Communities policy.

1.3 Special Needs Housing

For tenants occupying special needs housing, rents for individual tenants and households will be set based on the Program guidelines. Where applicable, Alliance Housing or its support partner will provide specific details on rent charges for individual tenants or households.

1.4 Ineligible Tenants

Any tenant who no longer meets Alliance Housing’s eligibility requirements may be charged market rent.

1.5 Market Rent

On an annual basis, we will determine a “Market Rent” for each property. This market rent will reflect the rent charged for a similar property in the local market and will be the maximum rent payable on the property. Consistent with its tax status, Alliance Housing may elect to cap the Market Rent charged on individual properties at a maximum of 74.9% of the assessed Market Rent.

2. Rent Assessment Process

At the time of occupation, we will undertake an assessment of the tenant’s household income and financial circumstances to determine:

(a) The tenant’s eligibility for a discounted rent;

(b) The level of rent to be charged to the tenant.

2.1 Rent Review

To ensure the tenant’s rent remains affordable and that the tenant remains eligible for housing assistance, we will undertake a review of the tenant’s household income and financial circumstances on at least an annual basis. This review will coincide with the anniversary of the commencement of their tenancy and six-monthly reviews may be undertaken where regular changes of income are likely.

As part of the review, the Tenant will be asked to give current proof of income for all household members within a reasonable amount of time. Once the current income details have been provided, we will reassess the rent and advise the tenant in writing of the new rent. The new rent will apply on the next rental period. If a tenant does not provide us their household income details by the due date, we will be unable to determine the tenant’s ongoing eligibility and may charge market rent.

2.2 Changes in Household Income or Make up

When there is a change in household income or to the number of people in the household, the tenant’s rent may change. Tenants should notify us within 14 days when their household income changes or the people in the household change. We will then ask for proof of income for the household and review the rent amount within 14 days of getting the new income details.

3.Proof of Income

Proof of Income Documents must be original and include:

Legislation and Compliance

This policy operates consistent with the Residential Tenancies Act.

Implementation, Review and Amendments

This policy is applicable from the date of Board Approval. Alliance Housing will review this policy on a regular basis to ensure it remains up to date.

Document/Version Number: AH-RAP/1

Amended By: Elysian Consultants

Amendment Narrative: New Policy

Board Approval Date: 17/02/2021

Status: Approved