Renting housing advice for seniors

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Renting is when an owner of a home lets a tenant live in the home, in exchange for money (rent).  

People choose to rent for numerous reasons.  When looking for a property to rent, shop around and avoid rash decisions. Think carefully about whether the property meets your needs.

These needs might include your capacity to pay the rent and other costs, proximity to shops or public transport, even how safe you might feel in the home.

Private, public or community housing

Private market rents are determined by the market place.  Public and community housing (social housing) can be cheaper than a private rental because it is often subsidised and based on about 25 to 30 per cent of your income.

Applications for public and community housing are subject to both income and assets eligibility criteria. There can be a long wait to be offered a property, even if you are eligible. To find out more, contact the  Department of Communities – Housing Division (formerly the Housing Authority).

National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) properties are owned and managed by community housing or the private rental sector.  Rents are set at around 20 per cent less than the normal market rent and applications are subject to income eligibility.  Some properties have been set aside for tenants over 55.  NRAS properties are usually identified as such in real estate advertisements.


If you are on a pension, you may be eligible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance to help with the cost of rent. To find out more, contact Centrelink on 13 2300.

The Department of Communities – Housing Division offers bond assistance and two weeks’ rent in advance as an interest-free loan to help people obtain accommodation in the private rental market. Limits apply to the amount you can borrow.  The rent must not be more than 60% of your income. To obtain this assistance, visit any Department of Communities – Housing Division office (no appointment is necessary). You will need to supply documents to show proof of your income, identity and the amount of rent you will be required to pay.

For more information on Renting

Fact sheet

Detailed information from the seniors housing guide. 

Renting fact sheet

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