Sign-Up Policy

Purpose
Legal Framework
Content of Tenancy Agreement
Understanding the Tenancy Agreement
Signatories to the Tenancy Agreement
Property Condition Report
Initial Rent at Commencement of Tenancy
Documentation at Sign-Up
Appealing Decisions or Actions
Other Related Documents

Purpose

This Policy describes the requirements for entering a Tenancy Agreement for a Housing ACT property.

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This Policy is consistent with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA) and the Public Rental Housing Assistance Program (PRHAP).

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Content of Tenancy Agreement

The Tenancy Agreement describes the obligations of both the tenant and Housing ACT as landlord. The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) and the courts can enforce the provisions of the Agreement. For this reason, it is important that the tenant understands the agreement, and his/her obligations under it.

The Tenancy Agreement signed by a Housing ACT tenant is different to that commonly used in the private rental market. It has additional terms and conditions relating to conditions governing the provision of Housing ACT(click here for copy of standard Tenancy Agreement).

If the property is part of a unit title development, then the body corporate rules also form part of the Agreement.

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Understanding the Tenancy Agreement

An officer of Housing ACT will attend an appointment with the client when a tenancy is to commence. The officer will explain the tenancy agreement to the tenant - in particular the provisions concerning;

  • The arrangements for the tenancy.
  • The obligations of the client and Housing ACT.
  • Paying rent.
  • Rent payment options.
  • How to get maintenance carried out.
  • How to deal with any problems with the tenancy.
  • Telling Housing ACT about additional occupants or changes to the income of household members.
  • Caring for the property.
  • Client service visits.
  • Good neighbour policy
  • Pets.
  • Guests.

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Signatories to the Tenancy Agreement

The Commissioner for Housing has a discretion under the PRHAP to nominate which members of a household will be viewed as applicants when an application is entered onto the Applicant List

Those persons nominated by the Commissioner at that time will be required to sign the Tenancy Agreement as tenants. The Housing ACT officer will witness the signature/s on behalf of the Commissioner for Housing.

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Property Condition Report

The Property Condition Report is a record of the state of repair and cleanliness of the dwelling at the beginning of the tenancy. It is used to compare the condition of the dwelling at the end of the tenancy.

Tenants will be liable for the costs of repairing damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear.

Completing a Property Condition Report is a requirement of the RTA and the report may be needed by the ACAT if a dispute arises. The Property Condition Report will list any maintenance work that Housing ACT proposes to do after the tenancy has started.

The Housing ACT officer will complete the report and provide 2 copies to the tenant. The tenant should:

  • Inspect the property
  • Indicate on the report whether or not he/she agrees with Housing ACT's report
  • Return one signed copy of the report to Housing ACT, noting any discrepancies within seven (7) days of moving in.

Housing ACT will investigate the matter if there is substantial disagreement with its report. If the report is not returned, Housing ACT's copy is taken as being correct.

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Initial Rent at Commencement of Tenancy

Under the Tenancy Agreement, rent is payable fortnightly in advance with rent charging periods commencing on Sundays.

Tenants newly entering social housing will be granted an initial rent free period for the remainder of the week during which the Tenancy was signed plus one fortnight.

For all other new tenancies, tenants are required to pay initial rent for the remainder of the week during which the Tenancy is being signed plus one fortnight before signing the Tenancy. Tenants are required to present a receipt for this payment before signing the Tenancy.

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Documentation at Sign-Up

When the tenancy begins, the tenant will be given:

  • A copy of the tenancy agreement. The tenant and an Housing ACT officer will sign this and initial it at every place where there is hand written information.
  • 2 copies of the Property Condition Report.
  • Sign-Up Kit.
  • Energy Efficiency Rating Certificate (as applicable)
  • Managing Asbestos Advisory Form
  • Body Corporate rules/by-laws
  • A copy of the Renting Book. If a copy is not available the housing officer shall inform the tenant of the booklet and where it may be obtained.

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Appealing Decisions or Actions

Sign-up is an administrative procedure and so there are no appealable issues. If a person has a problem with the sign-up process that he/she cannot resolve with his/her Housing Manager (for example he/she disagrees with the Property Condition Report), he/she should lodge a complaint with the Customer Liaison Unit.

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Other Related Documents

Allocations PolicyPayment of Rent PolicyMarket Rent PolicyRental Rebates Policy

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