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Division 1: Housing

15.4.5 Purpose

This Division sets out the aim of housing assistance and general housing benefits for a member on a long-term posting overseas. The aim is to ensure the member and their dependants are provided with housing that meets all these conditions.

  1. Adequately furnished, based on the needs of the member's dependants.

  2. Located within a reasonable distance of the place of duty.

  3. Appropriate for the status and duties of the member.

  4. Suitable in size based on the composition of the member's family.

  5. Suitable for the conditions at the member's posting location.

15.4.6 Housing benefits

  1. A member may live in accommodation provided or arranged by the member or the Commonwealth.

  2. There are exceptions to this, explained in the table below.

    Item Category Applies to...
    1. Tied housing – rank and role a senior member whose posting comes with a house provided by the Commonwealth.
    Examples: A member posted as Head Australian Defence Staff in Washington DC, London or Jakarta.
    2. Housing – safety and security a member appointed to a hardship location. The member will be provided with housing that ensures the safety of the member and any dependants.
    Example: A member posted to Port Moresby.
    3. Housing – exchange programs exchange personnel who are required to occupy housing provided by the host Service.
    Example: A member posted overseas to undertake language training with the Royal Air Force.
  3. If a member does not fall into one of the categories mentioned in subsection 2, the member may be authorised to seek privately leased housing that the CDF considers suitable. The CDF must consider all these criteria.

    1. The member's posting location.

    2. The standard of housing at the posting location.

    3. The location of the housing.

    4. If the standard and the location of the house are appropriate to the member's rank and family needs.

  4. The member is eligible for payment of the rent of the privately leased house. The amount paid is to a maximum of the amount of rent, less a rent and utilities contribution.

    See: Division 4, Rent and utilities contribution

Persons who can make the decision under subsection on behalf of the Secretary/CDF:
Senior ADF Representative at the overseas post
A person who is authorised to manage Defence personnel administration at the overseas post and is not below WO2(E)/APS 5.
A person working in the Pay and Administration Centre – Victoria who is authorised to manage Defence pay and administration at overseas posts and is not below WO2(E)/APS 5.
Director of Attaché and Overseas Management

15.4.7 Rental bond advance – USA, Canada and UK

  1. This section applies to members posted to the USA, Canada or the UK, to assist with the cost of privately leased housing.

  2. In this section a decision maker means one of the following.

    1. Head Australian Defence Staff (Washington).

    2. Head Australian Defence Staff (London).

    3. First Assistant Secretary International Policy.

  3. A decision maker may approve the payment of a rental bond advance to a member for privately leased housing.

  4. The member must repay the rental bond advance as a lump sum payment when both of the following events occur.

    1. The member's overseas posting ends.

    2. The member receives their rental bond back from the landlord.

  5. If the member does not receive the full rental bond back from the landlord, the member must still repay the full amount of the advance.

    Note: This means that the member must repay the Commonwealth any difference between the amount advanced and the amount the landlord has returned to the member.

    Example: The member received a rental bond of US 2,000 which was paid to the landlord at the beginning of the lease. When the member leaves the residence the landlord claims there was US 500 of damage to the property. The member receives US 1,500 back from the landlord. The member must pay the remaining US 500.

  6. After the member has made a repayment under subsection 5, if the member disputes alleged damage to the property, section 15.4.9 may apply.

    See: Section 15.4.9, Dispute about damage to property

15.4.8 Costs incurred under terms of occupancy

  1. The Commonwealth is not a party to a private lease that the member enters into.

    Exception: The Commonwealth may become a party to the lease by agreement in writing.

  2. A member may be required under their lease to pay property taxes or make other council payments.

  3. The member is eligible for the payment of an amount equal to these costs.

15.4.9 Dispute about damage to property

  1. Property leased by a member to live in at the post may be alleged to have been damaged. If this happens, a dispute may arise between the member and their landlord over the terms of the lease or return of the rental bond.

  2. The CDF may pay the member an amount equal to the amount the member can show they had to pay for damage alleged to have been done to the property by them. The member must meet these conditions.

    1. The member did not breach the terms of the lease.

    2. The member did not cause damage to the property by their wrongful or negligent act.

      Example: The member reported a faulty water heater but the landlord took no steps to fix it. The water heater flooded the home and damaged the carpet. The member had taken steps to prevent the damage and did not cause it.

      Non-example: If the member failed to take steps to prevent their child from kicking holes in walls, then the member's negligence could be seen to have caused the damage.

    3. The member cannot get their bond or rent returned, or has been forced to pay an extra amount to fix the alleged damage.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection on behalf of the Secretary/CDF:
Senior ADF Representative at the overseas post
Director of Attaché and Overseas Management

15.4.10 Changing housing during posting

A member may have to move from one residence to another at the posting location for organisational requirements. In this situation, the member is eligible for the removal of items to the other residence at Commonwealth expense.

15.4.11 Housing becomes unavailable or unfit

  1. During an overseas posting, a member's accommodation may become unavailable or unfit for occupation. The member and dependants may need to live in temporary accommodation, such as a motel or serviced apartments.

  2. In this case, the member is eligible for the settling-in allowances listed in Chapter 14 Part 5, Settling in and out. They apply as if the member began a posting period at the location, on the day the accommodation becomes unavailable or unfit.

    See: Chapter 14 Part 5, Settling in and out

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.

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