Rent, rent subsidies and reviews
Last published 01 Jun 2020
As a new tenant, you may have questions about your rent.
This factsheet will tell you:
- how we decide your rent
- whether you can apply for a rent subsidy
- what to do if you have a rent subsidy but your household circumstances change
How does DCJ Housing decide my rent?
We charge market rent for all the properties we own or manage. Market rent is the amount of rent you are meant to pay, based on similar properties in the same area.
We decide the market rent for our properties using many sources given to us by the NSW Valuer General and NSW Rental Bond Board. This includes property estimates and current trends in the private rental market.
This means that the market rent of our properties will be similar to properties in the private rental market.
Can I apply for a rent subsidy?
A rent subsidy reduces the amount of money you pay to us in rent. The level of rent subsidy is based on the total assessable income of your household. If your household has a low or moderate income, you can apply for a rent subsidy.
If you are eligible we will not charge you the full market rent for your property. We will advise you in writing of the amount of rent you must pay.
Can DCJ change how much rent I pay?
Yes, your rent may go up or down depending on the market rent. We review market rents every year to make sure they are up to date and compare to the private rental market.
As part of the review, we write to every tenant to advise them of the new market rent, including if it has gone up or down. The letter also tells you the date from which the new market rent applies. Read more about market rent reviews at: https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/living/rent-and-bills/market-review
We review rent subsidies regularly for all DCJ Housing and Aboriginal Housing Office tenants who receive one. The reviews ensure that if you receive a rent subsidy, you continue to be eligible, and determine the amount of rent to be paid.
What if I receive a rent subsidy and my household circumstances change?
You must advise us within 28 days of the change starting. This might be a change to the number of people living in your household, or your income. If you do not tell us about the change and we learn that you are receiving a rent subsidy you may not be entitled to, we may take a range of actions. This includes:
- cancelling or backdating your rent subsidy
- ending your tenancy
- seeking criminal action.
To inform DCJ of any changes to your tenancy, complete the Tenancy Online Form.
What if I disagree with DCJ Housing’s decision?
If you believe we have made a wrong decision, you should first discuss your concerns with a Client Service Officer.
If you pay the market rent and believe a market rent increase is too high, you can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) within 30 days of receiving the letter, explaining the market rent increase. Reach them at ncat.nsw.gov.au
If you pay a subsidised rent and believe the amount you pay is incorrect, or if you become ineligible for a rent subsidy, you can ask us to review the decision. To do this, fill in the ‘Review of decisions (first tier appeal) form available at any local DCJ office or on the DCJ website.