Centrelink Rent Assistance

Centrelink Rent Assistance

For many people, rent is their biggest weekly or monthly regular expenditure. That’s why getting rent assistance from Centrelink could be a big help if you’re eligible.

If you cannot keep up your monthly rent payments you are considered to be in ‘rent arrears’. If you find yourself in this situation you should inform your landlord or real estate agent immediately about your difficulty and try to negotiate a repayment plan.

When you are in rent arrears you have a number of options available to help you stay on in your rented home, however you need to act quickly and keep in regular contact with your landlord or real estate agent.


Centrelink Rent Assistance Eligibility

Centrelink Rent Assistance

Centrelink Rent Assistance

You may be able eligible to get Centrelink Rent Assistance if you:

  • receive a pension (special rules apply if you are aged under 21 and receive Disability Support Pension)
  • have dependent children and get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit
  • have care of a child between 14 and 35 per cent of the time and are not eligible for Family Tax Benefit but do meet other Family Tax Benefit requirements or both
  • receive an allowance or benefit (but don’t have dependent children) and:
  • are over 25
  • have a partner or
  • are under 25 and living permanently or indefinitely apart from your parents or guardians

To receive Centrelink Rent Assistance, you must also meet the residence requirements of your pension, allowance, or benefit.

Centrelink Rent Assistance is generally not payable if you:

  • have a tenancy agreement (lease) with a state or territory housing authority
  • own or are buying the home in which you live (except for mobile and relocatable homes)
  • are a homeowner travelling away from your principal place of residence for less than 12 months
  • occupy an Australian Government–subsidised bed in an approved residential aged-care facility
  • have a partner who receives Rent Assistance with Family Tax Benefit or
  • are an allowee with a partner receiving Centrelink Rent Assistance with his or her pension

If you receive Centrelink payments

Check that you’re receiving your full entitlement from Centrelink including rent assistance payments if you are renting in the private market (including more informal arrangements such as paying board). Rent assistance payments top up your income to help you pay rent above a set cost. They’re not intended to pay all of your rent, but to make rent more affordable for low-income earners in a competitive rental market.

Remember if you receive Centrelink payments you may be able to arrange to have your rent payments taken from your Centrelink payment through Centrepay (if your real estate agent is registered) before your fortnightly allowance is deposited into your account.

How do I apply for Centrelink Rent Assistance ?

You do not need to lodge a separate claim for Rent Assistance. Centrelink will assess your eligibility as part of your primary payment application process. Centrelink will need you to provide proof that you pay rent, and you will need to complete a Rent Certificate.

If you have a formal written tenancy agreement you will need to show this to Centrelink. If you do not have one, or are not named on the tenancy agreement, the person you pay rent to will have to sign your Rent Certificate.