Solicitor and conveyancer instructions 

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) is a Government Business Enterprise providing housing and related services to Australian Defence Force members and their families.

While most property owners retain their property for the entire lease, occasionally they need to sell their DHA investment property before the lease expires. When this happens, the property must be sold with the DHA lease agreement and property care contract (applicable for lease edition 7) in place. This means when the property is purchased, the purchaser agrees to the conditions outlined in the existing DHA lease agreement and property care contract.

When a DHA leased property is sold, the purchaser accepts all terms and conditions of the existing lease and property care contract (applicable for lease edition 7). It is imperative the vendors solicitor provides the purchasers solicitor with a full copy of the DHA lease agreement and property care contract and that the purchaser's solicitor reviews these documents with the purchaser ensuring all the conditions are understood.

Note for Lease Edition 7 a Deed of Novation is required to transfer the rights and obligations under an existing Standard Form Agreement to another party for the remaining term. 

DHA requires notification from the owner as soon as the contract has been signed by both parties. The owner is required to login to their online services account and upload a copy of the contract. A copy of the contract can also be sent to for reference.

The contract and confirmation of the following details will be required:

  • details of the solicitor or conveyancer acting for the vendor and for the purchaser (including an email address)
  • expected settlement date
  • Purchaser details (including full name, phone number and email address
  • if the contract is signed in counterpart both the seller and purchaser signed pages

DHA will issue settlement and financial advice to both the vendors solicitor and the purchasers solicitor prior to settlement. The advice will include the following:

  • current monthly charges
  • rental information
  • any outstanding charges for maintenance, rates and other outgoings.
  • Deed of Novation (applicable for lease edition 7)

*If notification of exchange or change to settlement has not been received, then the above information will not be issued. This could potentially impact on the settlement.

Note DHA does not have a need to attend settlement.

Upon settlement, DHA will require the following items to be sent to in order to establish the purchaser in the system and to activate rental payments:

  • Letter of attornment – commonly drafted by the vendor’s solicitor and provided at settlement. The letter must be provided on solicitor company letterhead and include the following:

It is vital the Letter of attornment and Landlord information form should both provide the purchaser’s name as per the title.

Frequently Asked Questions

If the purchaser’s pest and building inspection raises any issues that requires DHA to respond, the vendor’s solicitor should send the report to DHA via email to The items requiring review should be clearly identified, listing the location within the report (for example, on page 7, paragraph 3).

The report will be reviewed by DHA’s Technical Officers to determine which items are covered under general maintenance obligations by DHA (in accordance with the lease agreement and property care contract) or are the owner (lessor) or occupant’s responsibility.

Items that fall under DHA’s obligations to be rectified will be attended to regardless of who owns the property and DHA will provide this confirmation. There is no need for the sales contract to be conditional on these items being completed.

Alternatively, the property owner can put through a request via their online services account for pest and building items to be reviewed.

DHA pays rent a month in advance and does not adjust rent for settlement. The advice to the solicitor will confirm the date and amount of the last rental payment. Once the advice is issued, the rent will be placed on hold until notification of settlement has occurred. Please ensure DHA are notified of any changes to the settlement date.

DHA pays rent a month in advance the rent is processed at the end of each month. The new owner’s rent will commence the 1st of the month following settlement.

When a change in ownership has occurred, the first payment is dependent on the required documents (Letter of attornment, Lessor information form and if applicable Deed of Novation) being received by DHA. This may impact on the first rental payment if delayed or inaccurate.

DHA will issue a welcome email to the purchaser that provides confirmation they have been established in the system.

Some financial institutions will require a consent to lease or mortgagees consent as a requirement of the purchaser’s finance approval. If this is requested, simply forward a copy of the document to for DHA’s review and execution.

The ‘Notice of Sale’ provided to the LTO or LPI should include the purchaser’s preferred postal address and not the address of the property being purchased.

DHA does not insist on any special conditions being included in the contract for the sale of a DHA leased property, however the lease agreement and property care contract (if applicable) must be annexed to the contract.

The owner should be able to provide a list of fixtures within the property for inclusion in the contract. If the owner required additional information, they should contact

Keys for the property will not be provided upon settlement. It is DHA’s policy that the occupant holds all keys to the property.

A new Standard Form Agreement will not be required. A Deed of Novation will be required to transfer the rights and obligations under an existing Standard Form Arrangement to another party for the remaining term.

Should you require any further information, contact DHA via email or call us on 139 342 (Options 2, 4, 4).

Contact us

For further information, please email:

Mid-lease sales

Or call us on 139 342 (Options 2, 4, 4) 


This information is commercial in confidence and supplied to appointed Agents in accordance with the DHA Real Estate Services agreement. No person may make copies or distribute this information or attachments, without DHA’s written permission.