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Division 3: Home may be unsuitable if it is rented out

7.2.14 Purpose

This Division sets out how a member's own home may be deemed to be unsuitable because it is rented out and the member cannot get vacant possession. The member may be eligible for housing assistance under Part 4, 6 or 8 of this Chapter.

7.2.15 Member to include release clause in lease

  1. A member who rents out their own home must include a release clause in a fixed-term lease if State or Territory legislation permits it.

    Note: This includes seeking approval by a Residential Tenancy Tribunal or a similar body, if necessary.

  2. A member might lease their own home for longer than 12 months and they could (but do not) include a release clause in the lease. In this case, they are not eligible for housing assistance for a posting at the location of the home.

    Exception: The CDF may exercise discretion to grant assistance under section 7.2.17.

  3. If a member does not include a release clause in a lease, they must tell the Defence Housing Australia Regional Director in writing all the following.

    1. Why a release clause was not in the lease.

    2. The length of the lease and when the lease was signed.

    3. What they are doing to be able to live in the home.

7.2.16 Member waiting for a tenant to leave their home

If a member has included a release clause in a lease, their own home is taken to be unsuitable when all these conditions are met.

  1. They rented the house to a tenant before they knew of their posting to the location of the home.

  2. Notice to terminate the tenancy has been given in time to allow the member to occupy the house on posting.

  3. They must wait for a period set out in the lease before they can live in the home.

Example: A member has rented out their home for a fixed term of 12 months. A release clause is included in the lease. It provides that the lease can be ended with two months' notice. They are posted back to the home's location seven months into the lease. They must wait two months before they can live in the home. They are eligible for housing assistance for the period that their home is unsuitable.

7.2.17 CDF discretion to grant assistance

  1. The CDF may grant housing assistance to the member. The CDF must take into account whether the member has done all the following.

    1. Notified the tenant in writing that the lease is to be terminated at the earliest practicable date.

    2. Taken any other formal steps under the relevant legislation needed to get vacant possession of the home.

    3. Written to the Defence Housing Australia Regional Office giving the earliest date they would be able to live in the home and what action they have taken to get vacant possession.

  2. A member who is refused housing assistance by CDF is subject to these conditions.

    1. The Defence Housing Australia Regional Director may offer them a Service residence (if available) at Defence Housing Australia rent for the period that they are not eligible for housing assistance.

    2. No rent allowance or other assistance is provided to the member for the period.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection on behalf of the CDF:
An employee of Defence Housing Australia who performs the duties of:

  • Team Leader in a Housing Contact Centre
  • Regional Housing Specialist in a Regional Office
  • Housing Contact Centre Manager
  • Regional Director in a Regional Office
Director Relocations and Housing
Assistant Director Services Agreement
Assistant Contract Manager Services Agreement

7.2.18 Home leased for commercial purposes

  1. A member may have leased their home for commercial purposes. The home will still be considered a suitable own home if it has enough bedrooms for the member's dependants.

  2. No housing assistance is available to a member whose suitable own home is unavailable because it is commercially leased.

    Example: A member leases their home to the Defence Housing Australia for it to use as a Service residence for five years.

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

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Further info


Defence Housing Australia

139 342

Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)