Rentstart: information for landlords and agents
Last published 12 Feb 2018
What is Rentstart?
FACS Housing’s Rentstart products provide financial assistance for eligible clients to help them set up or maintain a tenancy in the private rental market. We provide assistance with bond payments and may also provide help with advance rent and rental arrears.
How does Rentstart work?
After speaking with FACS Housing staff, our client (your prospective tenant) will be advised which Rentstart product they require such as a rental bond, advance rent or arrears payments.
Our client is responsible for completing the relevant Rentstart application form. As part of their application, they will provide you with a property information form for you to complete. This form includes information about the real estate agent or landlord, the property, the length of the lease, and other relevant information.
You should sign and date the form. The client will then return it to FACS Housing to be assessed as part of their application.
Where a client has chosen to apply online, you will also be required to complete the property information form online - you will receive an email with a link to complete this form. For more information refer to our Rentstart Bond Loan online help page.
What assistance is offered under Rentstart?
From 1 May 2012, FACS Housing offers bond assistance to clients as a loan rather than a grant through Rentstart Bond Loans.
The assistance is provided as an interest-free loan and must be repaid to FACS Housing. Client’s fortnightly repayments are based on 12 or 18 month repayment plans, based on the proportion of their income they pay on rent.
Any payments made by the client during their lease will be returned if there is no claim on the bond made by the landlord or real estate agent at the end of the tenancy.
If the client repays the loan before the end of their tenancy, FACS Housing will withdraw its stake in the bond. This means at the end of the tenancy, the client is able to apply to NSW Fair Trading to claim the bond from the Rental Bond Board (RBB).
Increasing client’s interest in their bond will encourage responsible tenant behaviour, providing an incentive to recover their bond at the end of their tenancy.
The Rentstart Bond Loan does not affect the way you receive and lodge the bond with the RBB.
If a landlord or real estate agent makes a claim against a Rentstart bond at the end of the tenancy, FACS Housing may request further information about the claim in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.
In some cases, FACS Housing may help clients pay advance rent or assist established tenants repay rent and water arrears.
Advance rent and arrears payments are made electronically to your nominated bank account. If you are not registered for electronic funds transfer with us, we will send payment by cheque.
What happens next?
FACS Housing will assess Rentstart applications within 1 working day (24 hours) and contact you to confirm the property details. When we approve a Rentstart application we notify the client and the landlord or real estate agent in writing and, in the case of Rentstart Bond Loans, provide you with a completed Rental Bond Lodgement form.
If your prospective tenant is approved for a partial Rentstart Bond Loan, they will need to pay the balance of the bond directly to you.
When this is done, send the bond lodgement form and the tenant’s payment to the RBB. FACS Housing’s contribution will be electronically transferred to the RBB. You need to lodge the bond as soon as possible because we will cancel the bond lodgement form if it is not lodged within 3 months from the date of issue.