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DCJ expects people to personally occupy their homes. If you are going to be away from your home for more than 6 weeks, you need to tell us. If you don’t tell us that you will be away from your home, or do not return to your home on the stated return date, we may take action to terminate your tenancy.

How long can I be away from my home?

You can be away from your home for up to 6 months for an acceptable absence. In special circumstances, you can apply to extend the absence beyond 6 months; however, you should discuss this with your Client Service Officer.

You cannot be absent for more than 12 months in total over a 5-year period.

What are acceptable absences?

Acceptable reasons for absences up to 6 months include:

  • caring for sick or frail family members
  • hospitalisation, institutional care, nursing home care or rehabilitation
  • escaping domestic violence, harassment or threats of violence
  • assisting with immigration matters in your country of origin
  • holidays
  • employment, education or training
  • tenants going to prison.

Approving an absence from your home

We will approve your absence from your home if we are satisfied that:

  • you have made arrangements to pay your tenancy charges, such as rent and water usage, while you are away
  • the property will be adequately cared for while you are away
  • there is an acceptable reason for you going away
  • you have appointed an agent to act on your behalf while you are away (the agent must be over 18 years of age)

What if I disagree with DCJ decision?

If you believe we made the wrong decision, you should first discuss your concerns with a Client Service Officer. You can also ask to have the decision reviewed. To do this, fill in the Review of decisions form, available online or at your local DCJ office.

How do I tell DCJ that I am going to be away from my home?

You need to complete the Appointment of an agent form available online or from any local DCJ office.

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Last updated: 16 Aug 2023