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Operating a business from home (BFH)

We support tenants wherever practicable in the operation of a business from home. If you wish to operate a BFH, you must first apply in writing to your local regional office (RO).

Applicants must be a recognised dependant of a serving member.

The following documentation must be supplied with your application:

  • A description of the type of business you wish to operate (including business registration details).
  • evidence of local council approval.
  • proof of insurance coverage within an existing or new policy (including public liability coverage of at least $10 million for a single event).
  • The Business from home form.

During periodic inspections, our staff will request a copy of the current insurance policy for the operation of the BFH.

Ongoing operation of the business must be in accordance with the requirements of all relevant authorities such as (but not limited to) DHA, the Owner’s Corporation and Government bodies.

Modifications required to make the Service Residence suitable for the operation of the business must be submitted to us in writing for approval. Such modifications are at your cost. Approval is conditional upon agreement between the lessor, Base Commander (where applicable), owner’s corporation (where applicable) and DHA. In applying for such approval, you agree to make good any modifications to the Service Residence at the end of your tenancy or upon cancellation of this approval.

Non-fair-wear-and-tear or accelerated deterioration in the condition of the Service Residence (including fixtures and fittings) due to such approval, is your responsibility as the tenant. If you’re found to be in breach of your responsibilities as a tenant, we will withdraw the right to operate a BFH.

Applying for pet approval

Pets are an important part of many Defence families and are welcome in most of our properties.

To ensure you are offered a property that suits your family’s needs, it is important that you specify the type and number of pets on your Toll Transitions Application for Relocation (AFR).

Some of our properties are unsuitable for pets - check on HomeFind to see if pets are permitted at the property you are viewing. For particular properties, HomeFind will recommend you contact your local regional office (RO) regarding pet approval. In these cases, approval is required from authorities such as the building’s body corporate who may place restrictions on the size, type or number of animals allowed. Some councils also have rules and regulations around pet ownership that may affect choosing and/or living in your Service Residence. Your local regional office can provide further information.

Should you wish to get a new pet during your tenancy, you should first check with your RO as approval may be dependent on body corporate, strata and Municipal Council bylaws regarding pets (where applicable).

These requirements are also outlined in Defence Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN), Chapter 7.

Connecting Pay TV

If you wish to connect Pay TV at your property, submit the Application for Pay TV form to your local RO for approval.

Some pay TV providers have agreed to amend their contracts with DHA tenants so that: 

  • with prior RO approval, the installation can remain in place following vacation of the residence, pending a subscription being taken up by the incoming tenant, and
  • the provider accepts responsibility for care and maintenance of the item, and if not required, agrees to remove and make good the installation at no expense to DHA or the Department of Defence.

A full list of your responsibilities and obligations when applying are listed on the Application for Pay TV form. For further information and a list of the providers already working with us, please contact your local RO.

Modifying your service residence

Installation of swimming pools and spas

Before you install an above-ground swimming pool or spa, and any necessary fencing you must obtain written approval from DHA and the local council.

A swimming pool is defined in the Swimming Pools Act 1992 as an excavation, structure or vessel:

  1. that is capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300 millimetres or more; and
  2. that is solely or principally used, or that is designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used, for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity.

This includes a spa pool, but does not include a spa bath, anything that is situated within a bathroom or anything declared by the regulations not to be a swimming pool for the purpose of this Act.

Local legislation requires pool safety compliance inspections to be conducted once approval and installation has been completed.

There are a number of requirements that need to be met before approval is given to have a swimming pool/spa installed at your SR. If you have not gained the necessary approvals, you are in breach of your DRA and will be asked to immediately reduce the volume of water to less than 300 millimetres depth until such approvals are obtained.

If you have any questions relating to the installation or wish to seek approval please contact DHA on 139 342.

To find out more about the your responsibilities during tenancy for maintaining swimming pools, please visit Your maintenance responsibilities.

Families with Special Needs

We recognise that some Defence families require special modifications to their residence. Read more about Families with Special Needs (FWSN).

Using Utility Connect

Utility Connect is a free service to connect and disconnect home telephone, electricity, gas, internet and pay TV when you relocate. For further information, visit the Step 3: move in page.

National Broadband Network (NBN)

As you may be aware, the Australian Government is rolling out the National Broadband Network (NBN) across Australia. The NBN network is Australia's new landline phone and internet network which replaces and upgrades the existing telephony services. It is currently available in some areas of Australia and preparation is currently underway to roll it out to all areas.

As it becomes available, residents are being contacted to arrange the installation.

The NBN Connection box (which will be located inside the property) should not be installed in wet areas, busy areas (where it may be knocked or damaged), hard to reach areas or bedrooms (as the connected modem will emit light).

If you have any questions relating to the installation on your property, please contact DHA on 139 342.

To find out more about the NBN, please visit the NBNCO Website.