SSI Housing assists people to access stable, secure and affordable rental housing. Our aim is to ensure that you pay no more than 50% of your income on rent.

All our tenants are assigned an SSI Housing Officer who will be the person to contact for any property issues. 

Your SSI Housing Officer may also be able to assist with information and/or referrals to services if you have any other concerns that might impact on your  tenancy.

Tenancy costs

SSI Housing endeavours to ensure that tenants are not paying more than than 50% of their household income as rent.

Bond

The bond payable on rental properties in NSW is the equivalent to four (4) weeks rent. This is payable when you sign the tenancy agreement along with two (2) weeks rent-in-advance. If you are on a low income, you are possibly eligible for a Rentstart bond loan of up to 75% of the total bond. Applications are made through Housing NSW and you can ask SSI Housing staff for details on how to apply. If you are not eligible for Rentstart (or only for partial Rentstart) but will not be easily able to access the bond amount, you can ask the SSI Housing staff about paying the bond in instalments. This decision is up to the landlord but Housing staff will present this request to the landlord on your behalf. You can negotiate the repayment period, which can be up to six
months.

Rent

SSI Housing attempts to alleviate rental stress by not renting houses to prospective tenants if they will be paying more than 50% of their household income as rent. If the rental on a property rises above this proportion of your income during your tenancy, SSI Housing will help you with options, including finding you another property. If you are receiving Centrelink benefits or more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit, and you are paying something approaching market rent, you will be eligible for rent assistance. You will need to take a copy of your tenancy agreement to Centrelink or submit it on-line. For convenience in making rent payments, you could consider paying from your bank account through a regular electronic funds transfer. If you are receiving a Centrelink benefit, the alternative is to set up Centrepay. This allows Centrelink to pay the rent directly to SSI before the remaining payment is made to you. You can access a Centrepay deductions form via your Centrelink on-line account. If you choose to use Centrepay, you will need to provide them with your SSI client reference number which is obtainable from the Housing Services Admin Officer on (02) 8713-9200. SSI Housing is not able to accept cash payment of rent.

Rent increase

After a lease period ends, the frequency and amount of rent increase is largely up to the landlord. In SSI managed properties, we have usually made an arrangement with the landlord about rent increases so can advise you in advance about the most probable scenario with rent over a period of several years. As stated in the ‘Rent’ section above, when you apply for a tenancy, SSI will attempt to match you with a property which has a rent of less than 50% of your household income. We will also consult with you to try and predict future income, based on any expected pay rises (or falls) and on expected changes in the number of people in your household. SSI will also attempt on your behalf to obtain long leases and an undertaking from the landlord to renew leases. If you feel the rental amount after an increase will be excessive compared to similar properties in your area, it is possible to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for an order that the new rent is excessive. You must apply to NCAT within 30 days of getting the rent-increase notice.

Repairs

It is your responsibility as a tenant to pay for any damage caused through your actions or those of your family or friends. For example, while it is the landlord’s responsibility to provide a working stove, this responsibility would not extend to repairs to a stove which was damaged from a pot of oil catching fire. SSI Housing has a list of tradespeople who are reliable, however you are able to obtain your own quotes and contract for the repair work if you prefer. All repairs must be carried out to a professional standard by qualified tradespeople. It is not satisfactory to carry out any but the most minor repairs yourself. We ask that you notify SSI Housing of any damage to the property and discuss a timeframe for the repair and how the repair will be carried out. If you are experiencing financial hardship and cannot pay for the repair, SSI can arrange to have the damage repaired and negotiate regular repayments to be added to your rent.

Utilities

The landlord will provide access to electricity and gas (if there are gas appliances in the property) and you as the tenant will then need to arrange for your own electricity and gas accounts. In the rare event that a property is not separately metered for electricity or gas, the landlord will pay for usage of the un-metered utility.

Water

The landlord will pay the water rates but you as tenant must pay for water usage except where you are in one of two or more dwellings that are not separately metered. In these cases, a flat rate for water usage will be paid by the tenant.