An ACT Government Website

Household and income changes

You must tell Housing ACT when people move in our out, your household income changes, and if you’ll be away from your home for more than 4 weeks.

You must tell Housing ACT:

  • when people move in or out of your home
  • if your household income changes
  • if you’ll be away from your home for more than 4 weeks.

You must tell us about household changes so that:

  • you have the correct number of bedrooms for your household
  • you pay the right rent
  • your home is being looked after while you’re away.

Who’s included in your household

We must approve everyone who lives in your public housing home.

They will be either:

  • tenants: a person or people who signed the lease.
  • residents: anyone 16 and over who lives in the house with the tenants and is not a dependent. A resident does not have the same rights as a tenant because they have not signed the lease. If the tenant moves out, residents cannot continue living in the property.
  • dependants: children (under 16) and people who live with you and depend on your income.

Visitors are household members if they:

  • regularly stay 3 or more nights a week
  • stay for longer than 4 weeks.

Household income

Household income is the amount earned by everyone 16 and over in your household.

Household income may go up or down when a member of your household:

  • gets a new job
  • stops work
  • gets more or less money from Centrelink.

To tell us about your new household income, you must apply for a new Rental Rebate.

If you do not tell us about changes and we find out later, you may have to pay rent you owe (called backdated rent).

Being away for more than 4 weeks

You must tell your housing manager in writing if you're going to be away from your home for more than 4 weeks, for any reason.

Maximum time you can be away

Your whole household is allowed to be away from home for up to 3 months.

You can only stay away for longer in special circumstances. Talk to your housing manager about this.

If your home is empty for more than 3 months without approval

We may take legal action to get the property back.

This is because:

  • many people are waiting for houses to live in
  • we must also make sure public housing properties are maintained.

If you go to prison for more than 3 months

We will work with you to find a solution.

This could mean:

  • You need to apply for your home to be vacant for more than 3 months.
  • You need to end your public housing tenancy.

We will talk with your correctional centre welfare officer, parole officer and other support services about your housing needs after you leave prison.

We will work with any joint tenants and other household members to help them stay in the house.

Paying rent while you're away

You must pay rent and look after your home, even when you're not there.

In some special circumstances you may be able to pay less rent. Discuss your circumstances with your housing manager.

This page is managed by: Community Services Directorate