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Tenants are Entitled to Rent Assistance in Australia

For Australian people receiving some form of Government assistance, paying the rent can often be difficult. Many individuals can find the cost of renting very daunting, and it is something that is becoming increasingly expensive.

If you are struggling to pay your rent or are considering moving into premises that costs a little more than you are able to afford rent assistance may be a very good option.

What is Centrelink?

Centrelink is the Australian Government agency that provides rent assistance to Australians. The majority of towns have a Centrelink office and if yours doesn't there is probably one not too far away.

If you are paying rent and are receiving Government benefits you can receive rent assistance to aid with private rent, lodging, board and lodging, site fees, fees to moor a vessel and even maintenance fees in a retirement village.

If you pay rent directly to a State or Territory housing authority it is unlikely that you would be eligible for rent assistance. However it is worth getting in contact with Centrelink to check.

How much Rent Assistance can I get?

The amount of rent assistance you can receive largely depends on the amount of rent you are paying per week. The other factors involved in determining the amount you can receive are your living arrangements, such as whether you have a partner or dependent children living with you; and whether you are living in shared accommodation.

You should keep in mind the fact that there is a limit on the amount of rent assistance that you can receive per week. As such it is important to take this into consideration when thinking about the affordability of any premises you are thinking of moving into.

Given the factors referred to here you also need to remember to advise Centrelink of any changes in your circumstances in order to receive an increase in rent assistance if necessary, or to avoid paying back money if you are found to have been paid more than you are entitled to.

You need a Rent Certificate

In order to claim rent assistance you need to lodge a Rent Certificate with Centrelink. When you lodge the form you need to provide proof of the amount of rent you are paying. This will be either a formal written agreement such as a lease or, if you have no formal agreement, your landlord will need to sign the Rent Certificate.

As you can see this is not a difficult process and Centrelink employees can help you if you have any questions.


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