I’m not familiar with the rental location, can DHA help me?
Finding a rental property can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the location. To support you, DHA has Location Spotlights that provide some local information.
If you are a family with special needs in consideration, the Defence Special Needs Support Group (DSNSG) can also provide support, information and assistance.
Living outside my posting locality, posted within locality, Enlistment or Remote locality
RA is usually only payable within your posting locality, if in doubt the posting locality is defined in PACMAN or contact DHA. Written
permission from your Commanding Officer/Officer Commanding via an AE681
– ADF Categorisation Change and Approval to Live-In/Live-Out
This permission is also required if you are in receipt of RA and have
recently posted to a new base in the same region but; in a different
posting locality and wish to remain in receipt of RA in your current
rental property. As your RA Rent Ceiling may be impacted DHA need to
assess your continued RA benefit and applicable rates. Your new work
unit and base can be updated via DHA Online Services.
A Remote locality for RA calculation purposes is defined as a
locality that does not have Rent Ceiling rates determined by Defence.
You may be posted to a ‘remote locality’ or your family may reside in a remote ‘enlisted locality’ or a remote ‘Personal locality’ for which you have housing benefits approved. If you believe you may fit any of these scenarios contact DHA on 139 342 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. In these circumstances you would need to provide a Property Search form to email@example.com as part of your application to enable DHA to determine your RA Rent Ceiling.
Paying the Bond and or Rent in Advance Payments
Where you need to pay a bond, utility connection deposit and/or rent
in advance to the landlord/agent, you are able to claim an advance for
these costs from Defence of the amount(s) required (within limits).
This advance is the equivalent of an interest-free loan from Defence which you have to repay fortnightly over the term of your lease to a maximum of 26 fortnights.
Within 14 days of entering into a lease you need to
provide DHA with receipts proving the payments as you can only receive
advance(s) for the purpose intended. Any unused advance full or part
will be recovered in full from your pay.
Once DHA has approved your RA entitlement, you can apply for advances and upload receipts via logging onto your DHA Online Services account.
Some other points to be aware of:
- Advances are paid as part of the normal pay cycle. Submit your
application early with a required payment date that is before the pay
date you need the advances to ensure payment is received on time.
- You can apply for a bond advance for the total amount due or part thereof.
- You can apply for a rent advance of up to four weeks (limited to your approved Rent Ceiling).
- You can apply for a utility advance for the cost of connection fees.
- Repayments will commence immediately once the advance has been paid to you.
- You need to make arrangements with Defence 1800 DEFENCE – (1800 333 3623) to repay any outstanding advance(s) if you vacate your rental property early.
Lease Letting Fees and Stamp Duty Fees
When leasing a rental property the lease letting and stamp duty fees
can be reimbursed including on renewal of a lease. A receipt is required
to process this reimbursement and can be provided to DHA via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arrangements for the payment of water usage, post box, gardening
charges and/or other domestic charges in rental properties vary. As with
any legal document, you should carefully read and familiarise yourself
with your responsibilities and liabilities in regards to these types of
charges before signing the lease. If required to pay for these charges
they should be clearly stated in the lease and you should be aware of
the payment requirement/s when signing the document. Defence does not
provide any subsidised support or reimbursement for these elements.
Rent paid prior to moving in
RA is paid from the date of occupancy. If you paid rent prior to
moving in, a period of this may be reimbursed (limited to your Rent
Eligibility is assessed by DHA and applies where your housing has
been a result of a Commonwealth funded relocation and costs savings to
Defence are able to be determined.
Uploading your Initial Rent Receipt that shows the rent paid prior to
occupancy, whilst completing your RA Application in DHA Online Services
will trigger the DHA assessment.
Where your share of Property Rent is less than your RA Rent Ceiling and you are an MWOD or MWD(U), your RA calculation may include the hire of essential items of furniture.
You should be aware that:
- this provision is to hire furniture only and cannot to be used to purchase furniture i.e. no rent-try-buy schemes.
- the items that can be hired are limited and are listed in PACMAN Chapter 7.
Application for this allowance may be made via your DHA Online Services account when applying for RA or at a later date by using the ‘Update Details’ button.
Depending on how you ‘board’ determines how your RA is calculated,
the Rent Ceiling and Member contribution rates applicable if you:
- live in a boarding house, will be the rate applicable for a member sharing with two or more persons.
- board with relatives, friends or others, will be the rate applicable for the number of people sharing the accommodation.