Market rent review
Last published 15 Jan 2018
FACS Housing has a responsibility to ensure public housing tenants are paying an affordable amount of rent. The base rent for all FACS Housing and Aboriginal Housing Office properties is the market rent. We regularly reviews the rents of these properties to match the rents of the private rental market. From 2005, these market rent reviews are done annually.
Why the review?
Just as market rents in the private rental market increase and decrease over time, FACS Housing must review the rents of its properties and those of the Aboriginal Housing Office to ensure they are up-to-date with movements in the private rental market.
This is important because FACS Housing charges market rent for all of its properties, then offers a rent subsidy to tenants who are eligible. Approximately 90% of FACS Housing tenants currently receive a rent subsidy.
How does the review affect the amount of rent you pay?
FACS Housing will write to every tenant who has had a change in their market rent to inform them of what their new market rent will be and if this affects the rent they pay. If you are:
- Receiving a Rent Subsidy - There will be no increase in the amount of rent you pay, unless your market rent decreases to the point where it is less than your current rental subsidy. If this happens, you will pay the market rent, which is the lesser amount.
- Paying Market Rent - You will need to pay the new market rent, unless you become eligible for a rent subsidy. You can check with your local FACS Housing team to determine if you are eligible for a rent subsidy.
When will this happen?
The letter you receive from FACS Housing will tell you when you need to start paying the new market rent.
Do you need to update your payment details if there is a change in your rent paid?
No. If your rent is direct debited from your bank account or paid through the Rent Deduction Scheme, FACS Housing will update your deduction to reflect your new rent.
How does FACS Housing decide what the new market rent will be?
The market rent is based on the rent likely to be paid for a similar property in the private rental market. FACS Housing determines your market rent using a number of sources, including property valuations, current trends in the private rental market and information from the Valuer-General of NSW.
Several factors are taken into account when determining the market rent for your home, including property type, bedroom numbers, location, and even factors such as whether your home has a garage or a yard.
The method FACS Housing uses to decide your market rent picks up fluctuations in market rents across NSW. This means that rents in some areas will rise while rents in other areas will decrease.
What if you pay market rent now and can’t afford to pay the new rent?
If you can’t afford to pay the new market rent, you can apply for a rent subsidy.
If you are on a low to moderate income, you may be eligible for a rent subsidy. FACS Housing subsidy income limits are updated each year in July.
You will need to contact your local FACS Housing team who will ask you to complete a rent subsidy application form, which can be completed online. Alternatively a Client Service Officer can send you a form electronically. As rent subsidies are based on total household income, you will need to provide proof of income for all household members. If you are not eligible for a subsidy, you are considered to be able to afford to pay market rent.
If you are an AHO tenant or household member, you may also need to apply for Commonwealth Rent Assistance from Centrelink. You can do this by ringing the Centrelink Indigenous Call Centre to inform them of your new rent and complete a rent certificate.
What if you disagree with the new market rent?
If you already pay market rent and think that the increase in your market rent is too high, you can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). You should do this within 30 days of receiving your rent increase letter. Tribunal fees apply.
If you do not pay market rent (because you receive a rent subsidy), you cannot appeal to the NCAT for an excessive market rent increase. You can only appeal if you become ineligible for a rent subsidy and have to start paying the market rent.
Can you appeal an increase in market rent to the Housing Appeals Committee?
No, you cannot appeal an increase in your market rent to the Housing Appeals Committee. All appeals should be lodged with the NCAT.