Lower your weekly fees even further with Rent Assistance

Moving to a NLV over 50s lifestyle village like The Vantage at Vasse means you’ll be part of a growing number of Australians who are choosing this popular financial model of a land lease community (LLC). NLV’s land lease communities have easy-to-understand financials where you own your own designer home, and lease the land on which it sits. And because you are renting the land, it opens up some options not available in traditional retirement villages. For NLV residents, those who receive government support payments may also be eligible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance too.

So what is Rent Assistance? Rent Assistance is an income supplement that can help you pay your weekly site fees. If you are (or will be) receiving a government pension or other similar income support payments – including payments from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs – you might be entitled to receive government Rent Assistance in addition to your normal payment.

You can receive Commonwealth Rent Assistance through Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The amount you receive is calculated the same way by both organisations. People who are single, and couples with a combined payment, will receive different rates for Rent Assistance. There are also different rates for single people sharing rent, and a person within a couple that is separated temporarily or due to illness.

Here’s a general idea of what Rent Assistance rates may look like for you, using the Centrelink rates from March 2019. Rent Assistance rates are updated twice yearly, so make sure you visit this webpage to see Centrelink’s current rates and this factsheet for Veterans’ Affairs (scroll down to ‘How is rent assistance calculated?’).

Rent threshold
Your fortnightly rent is at least:
To get the maximum payment your fortnightly rent is at least: To get the maximum payment your fortnightly rent is at least:
(and not sharing rent)
$122.40 $305.33 $137.20
combined rate
$198.20 $370.47 $129.20

To calculate how much Rent Assistance you may receive, Centrelink and Veterans’ Affairs will look at how much rent you pay per fortnight and deduct the minimum threshold from this amount. For every $1 of rent you pay in excess of the threshold amount, you will receive $0.75 of Rent Assistance, until you reach the maximum set by the government.

What’s the application process for Rent Assistance? There are some automatic checks built into the Centrelink system which make this easier. Whenever you change your address (as in the case of moving to a NLV lifestyle village), submit a claim for a government pension, or make a new application for income support, Centrelink will check your eligibility for Rental Assistance at the same time.

It’s important for those who already receive a government pension to update their address details with Centrelink when moving to a NLV lifestyle village. You may be asked to complete a Rent Certificate or formal tenancy agreement and if this is the case, Centrelink will supply the forms you need.

The application process for Rent Assistance from Veterans’ Affairs is different and does not have the same automatic checks. You will need to contact them and provide the details about your rental situation. Veterans’ Affairs will need to know your fortnightly rental amount. You will also need to provide a copy of your latest rent receipt or a copy of your lease to confirm your rental amount.

You can contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs by phone on 1800 555 254, visiting any of their offices, or writing to them at GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001.

Resources for further research:

Centrelink Rent Assistance website

Veterans’ Affairs Rent Assistance factsheet

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs through the National Relay Service (NRS).

Centrelink: 132 300

Department of Veterans’ Affairs: 1800 555 254

TTY users: Phone 1800 555 677 then ask for the relevant phone number above. Speak and Listen users: Phone 1800 555 727 then ask for the relevant phone number above. Internet relay users: Connect to the NRS at www.internet-relay.nrscall.gov.au then ask for the relevant phone number above.

Disclaimer: The Centrelink Rent Assistance rates provided are directly quoted from the ‘single, no children’ and ‘couple, no children’ rates provided by the Australian Government Department of Human Services, as present during March 2019.

All information provided is correct at time of publishing. This information is subject to change without notice at any time.