How your rent is calculated
For Affordable Housing properties, rent is set as a discount of the market rent price – usually at 20–25 per cent of the price of similar properties in the area. Ideally the rent price is no more than 30 per cent of the gross household income.
In this case, Link Housing assesses each applicant’s individual circumstances according to the NSW Ministerial Affordable Housing Guidelines.
For Social Housing properties, eligible tenants can apply for a rental subsidy. A rental subsidy means that you only pay a percentage of your household’s income in rent. The percentage is from 25 percent.
You need to apply for a rental subsidy. If you are approved for a rental subsidy, you will pay less than the market rent for your home.
Link Housing requires all tenants to inform your Housing Manager if your household circumstances and/or income changes. Read more about this below. We also assesses your income twice a year to tell you:
- whether you are eligible for a rental subsidy; and
- what your rental subsidy is
If you receive a Centrelink Benefit such as Newstart or DSP, you are eligible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA). Link Housing will work out the amount of CRA you are entitled to during your rental subsidy assessment.
In most cases the amount of rent you pay will be based on 25% of your gross household income plus 100% of the Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
How your water charges are calculated
As well as rent, you may need to pay Link Housing for the water you use.
If you transferred to Link Housing in December 2018, you will need to make your water payments in advance just like your rent payments.
Your water charge is calculated as follows:
- If your home has its own water metre, you simply pay for the water you use.
- If your home shares a water metre with other properties, your water charge is calculated weekly, and based on a percentage of your weekly rent (minus Commonwealth Rent Assistance [CRA] if applicable). It is capped at $8.95 per week.
If you are unsure what your water rate is, please contact our Client Services Team on (02) 9412 5111.
For all other Link Housing tenants, your water charge is calculated as follows:If your home has its own water metre, you simply pay for the water you use, and are billed four times a year.
If your home shares a water metre with other properties, you pay based on the total number of people in your household. Link Housing calculates your water payment every quarter, and you have 21 days to make a payment.
At the beginning of your tenancy, Link Housing will have given you a tenant reference number. Please quote this number when making any tenancy-related payment
Pay Through Centrepay
This free service is the easiest way to pay if you currently receive a Centrelink payment.
Centrepay is a voluntary bill-paying service which is free for Centrelink customers. Use Centrepay to arrange regular deductions from your Centrelink payment.
You can start or change a deduction at any time. The quickest way to do it is through your Centrelink account online.
Centrepay takes out your rent or water amount directly from your Centrelink benefits, so you won’t need to make payments manually. Most of Link Housing’s tenants use this method.
If you’d like to set up Centrepay, please contact your Housing Manager.
Pay with Post-BillPay using your rent card
This free service is the easiest way to pay if you are not using Centrepay.
Using this service, you can pay your rent, water and other tenancy-related charges:
- in person at any Australia Post branch
- over the phone on 13 18 16
- online at www.Postbillpay.com.au
For more information about the Link Housing rent card, download the Rent Card Fact Sheet.
View your rent statement
Your rent statement displays your rent balance and non-rent balance, as well as a list of your account transactions. Social Housing tenants can access your rent statement online from our Tenant Portal. Link Housing is looking to make the Tenant Portal available to all tenants. Contact our Client Services Team on (02) 9412 5111 for more information.
Changes in household circumstances
It’s important you let Link Housing know if people move in or out of your home, as this will change your household income, and may affect your rent.
Please notify Link Housing within 28 days if any of the following changes occur:
- A household member begins or stops working.
- There is a new (approved) household member.
- A household member leaves.
- A household member’s work hours change.
- If a Centrelink benefit changes (For example, when a child turns 16 and you no longer receive family tax and/or parenting payments).
- A child turns 18.
Managing your payments
Your rent is due two weeks in advance, in accordance with your lease. Remember, we’re here to help. So if you’re getting behind in payments and need to talk about anything that might be affecting your ability to pay your rent, please reach out to us.
If we notice that you are behind in paying your rent or water, we’ll contact you to talk about the situation, and offer to:
- organise a repayment plan for you
- refer you to a professional financial counselling service.
If you would like more information, please read our Managing Rent and Other Arrears policy.
Need more information on rent and other tenancy payments?
For more information on payments, please refer to the Link Housing Tenant Handbook, your lease agreement – or simply call us. Our Client Services Team is here to help you. Call (02) 9412 5111 during business hours.