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Rent Assistance Debts

Before I show you how to change your arrangements I have some news for all Centrelink clients who have had a Rent Assistance debt calculated against them for claiming more than the total rent on the lease.
An example of this is where:
  • Two people rent a property and the lease states that the rent is $200.00 pw.
  • The leaseholder then makes the non-leaseholder pay $130.00 pw and then claims that they also pay $100.00 pw.
This means that the total rent claimed for the property is $230.00. Understandably, Centrelink did not like the fact that this was happening (as it meant that they were paying a lot more in Rent Assistance) so on 5 March 2001 a new law was created making this practice illegal. It meant that the rent paid by a non-leaseholder (boarder/lodger) was deducted from the rent paid by the leaseholder (primary tenant - according to Centrelink).

However, it is Centrelinks' policy to waive this type of debt (up until the date of the current review - when the error was noticed by Centrelink) if:
  • a client had previously advised Centrelink prior to 5 March 2001 that they share accommodation, and
  • a review had not been conducted since then.
The reason used to waive the debt is 'administration error'. The correct rate of Rent Assistance can only be entered onto the computers from the date that the current review is returned.