Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about investing with us.

Leasing process

All properties leased to DHA must be within 30 kilometres of a Defence base. You can view a list of our locations on the Property and location requirements page.

You can also view specific suburbs and locations where we are actively seeking properties on the current DHA priority locations page.

Step 1

Submit your property for assessment online. To submit, you will need your street address and property details, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and your expected weekly rent. You can also attach up to five documents to help us assess your property. We recommend attaching the floor plan and recent photos of the property.

Step 2

A Leasing representative will contact you by email or phone to discuss your application in detail. DHA may request further information to support your application.

We will advise you if your property does not meet the requirements or if DHA does not have a current requirement for properties in the location.

Step 3

If your property suits DHA's requirements, we will organise a property inspection.

Step 4

If the property is suitable, we may provide you with an Offer to Lease outlining the lease terms, conditions, and steps required to accept the offer.

Step 5

Once the Offer to Lease is accepted, we will arrange for a Handover of the property and the lease will commence.

Assuming no unforeseen delays, the application and assessment process takes approximately three to five weeks. This time may be impacted by your responsiveness and gaining access to the property to conduct an inspection.

We lease properties of all ages from investors and assess each property on a case-by-case basis. 

The age and condition of fixtures and fittings and the property may be considered during the assessment process, as well as the availability of other properties within the area. 

If your property is currently tenanted, we recommend submitting it for assessment at least two months before it is due to be vacant. This will allow enough time for us to assess and onboard the property to minimise any time without receiving rent. 

If you would like extra certainty or to conduct work on your property before commencing your lease with DHA, you can submit an application as early as 12 months before the property is available. 

Lease information

The advertised rent is the gross rent before fees and charges have been deducted.

With DHA's service fee, you'll receive more benefits than you would through a traditional property management fee.

DHA's service fee includes the cost of:

  • all vacancy management - saving you on re-letting and advertising fees and any loss of rent while your property is vacant. As part of our rental guarantee*, if the property is ever unoccupied, we still pay you rent and manage the grounds to ensure they are neat and tidy.
  • most non-structural repairs including the replacement of fixed appliances as needed. We also organise tradespeople to complete most repairs and will act quickly on your behalf if an emergency repair is required.

You'll also receive many of the other benefits from the Property Care Contract including periodic rental reviews, scheduling and facilitating inspections and contractors, and lease end repair and cleaning.

Initial rents for properties leased to DHA are based on current market rates of similar properties in the area. 

DHA conduct periodic market rent reviews, generally yearly, by engaging an independent licensed valuer to provide a recommendation for the rent. 

If you are unhappy with a rental review, you may appeal the decision by engaging your own independent licensed valuer to conduct a valuation on your property. This additional valuation will be at your cost and not covered under the Property Care Contract. 

As a landlord, you will retain responsibility for some outgoing costs:

  • council rates
  • water rates (usage reimbursed by DHA)
  • strata rates (if applicable)
  • land tax (dependent on the state of purchase and your personal circumstances)
  • insurance (please refer to the DHA Lease Agreement)
  • termite inspections (at your discretion)
  • repairs and maintenance (please refer to the DHA Lease Agreement and Property Care Contract)

If you lease your existing property to us, we offer long-term leases generally ranging from six to nine years, subject to DHA's requirements.

However, so that we have the flexibility to meet our Defence housing obligations, additional terms are included in the standard lease agreement. 

At DHA’s discretion only, we can vary the lease term by exercising each of the following rights once1:

  • extend the term by up to 36 months
  • extend the term by up to 12 months.

At the end of your fixed lease term or extensions, you may have the option to sign another lease with DHA or have the property returned so you can move in, rent privately or sell as you wish. 

We understand that personal circumstances can change and that you may want to sell your property during the term of the DHA lease agreement. 

You can sell the property at any time, however, you must sell the property with the lease and property care contract in place. This is known as a mid-lease sale2.

Learn more about selling your property while leased.

At the end of the lease agreement, the property is returned to you. This means you can move in, rent privately or sell as you wish.

DHA will ensure all appliances are in working order (excepting fair wear and tear); the property is professionally cleaned throughout; and the dwelling, grounds and landscaping are in neat and tidy condition.

DHA conducts periodic inspections at least annually. We also inspect the property when tenants are moving out, when new tenants move in, when the property is valued, and when any repairs or maintenance need to be carried out.

You cannot break your lease early and move into or place other tenants in your property.

If circumstances change, you can sell your property to another investor with the current lease attached.  

Fair wear and tear means the deterioration that occurs over time with the use of the property even when it receives reasonable care and maintenance.

Some examples may include faded curtains, furniture indentations and traffic marks on the carpet, scuffed-up wooden floors, faded, chipped or cracked paint, and wear to kitchen benchtops and cabinetry.

Please refer to the Property Care Contract for a full list of inclusions. 


Almost anyone is eligible to lease their existing property to us. You don’t have to be a Defence member, in fact the majority of our investors have no connection to Defence at all.

If you are a Defence Member, it is important to be aware that your housing and rent entitlement subsidy (as set by the Department of Defence) may be affected if you are posted to the same location as your DHA leased investment property.

Please refer to the Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN), Chapter 7 (7.2.18 Home leased for commercial purposes) for more information.

Yes, however it is important to be aware that your housing and rent entitlement subsidy (as set by the Department of Defence) may be affected if you are posted to the same location as your DHA leased investment property.

Please refer to the Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN), Chapter 7 (7.2.18 Home leased for commercial purposes) for more information.

Companies, trusts and self-managed super funds can lease property to DHA. A large number of our properties are leased by such entities and benefit from our long-term lease, vacancy management, reliable rental income and fixed management fee.

Leasing a property to DHA is well suited to an investor looking for a minimal effort investment, and we do lease properties from landlords who do not reside in Australia.

Yield and fees

Net rental yield = annual rental income (weekly rental incomes x 52 weeks) - annual expenses and cost / property price x 100.

Annual expenses include, but are not limited, to DHA Service Fee, insurance, council rates, water rates, and body corporate/strata fees (if applicable).

Yes, if the property you are purchasing is covered by a body corporate or strata you will be required to pay those associated fees.

For the majority of these properties, where a body corporate or strata carry out some of the services we would otherwise provide, DHA’s fee is reduced 13 per cent (including GST).

Yes, DHA’s properties are subject to the same government rules as other properties. As with any property investment, it is your responsibility as an investor to determine the scope of these fees and your responsibilities with other government agencies.

Yes, you are responsible for third-party fees including insurance on any property you have leased to DHA. 

Have more questions?

Contact us by calling 133 342 or make an enquiry online.


Free property investment webinar

Learn about the benefits of leasing your investment property to DHA, ask questions and have them answered live.

Rent may be subject to abatement under certain circumstances such as loss of enjoyment or amenity, or breach of lease terms. Rent is paid where the property is habitable. Should a property become uninhabitable during the term of the lease, or lessor breaches the lease terms, the rent may cease or abate and the lease may be terminated by DHA. Guaranteed rent is subject to the terms of the lease. DHA does not take into account an investor’s objectives or financial needs. Investors should always seek appropriate independent advice before making any investment decisions with DHA.

1DHA can vary the lease term at our discretion by exercising each extension right once. Investors should consider their long term plans and potential changes in circumstances when assessing a DHA long term lease. 

2Investors should consider their long term plans and potential changes in circumstances when assessing a DHA long term lease.