4.3.8.40 Income from Boarders or Lodgers

Summary

This topic covers the following matters:

  • income treatment of boarding/lodging situations,
  • mortgage on the home,
  • person who is renting their principal residence,
  • reassessment for a lower amount,
  • more than 5 rooms let, and
  • vacant rooms.

Income treatment of boarding/lodging situations

The following table shows the percentage of income from different kinds of boarding/lodging situations that is treated as income for social security purposes.

Situation Description % Treated as Income
Lodging. Accommodation only. 70%
Bed and breakfast. Accommodation and breakfast. 50%
Board. Accommodation and meals in addition to breakfast. 20%

Exception: The income that is received from the rooms rented IS NOT treated as income for social security purposes, if the boarder or lodger is the person's:

  • parent (may include step-parent, foster parent or adoptive parent), or
  • child (may include step-child, foster child or adoptive child), or
  • sibling (may include step-brother, step-sister, foster brother, foster sister, adoptive brother or adoptive sister).

Example: A person owns their house outright and receives $30.00 per week from renting a room to another person.

Step Action Calculation Result
1 Calculate rent received per annum (p.a.) $30 per week × 52 $1,560 p.a.
2 Calculate assessed income 70% of rent received p.a. $1,092 p.a.

Mortgage on the home

If there is a mortgage on the home a deduction is allowed for the interest on the mortgage.

Example: A single person receives $40 per week for providing accommodation and breakfast. A mortgage of $27,500 repayable at 15% per annum exists on the home.

Step Action Calculation Result
1 Calculate income received per annum (p.a.) $40 per week × 52 $2,080 p.a.
2 Calculate % of income assessable 50% of income received p.a. $1,040 p.a.
3 Deduct interest repayable on mortgage $27,500 @ 15% p.a. $4,125 p.a.
4 Calculate assessed income (result of step 2) minus (result of step 3) NIL

Person who is renting their principal residence

If the person rents their principal residence a deduction is allowed for the rent that they pay. Therefore, if the rent paid by the person is more than the applicable percentage, NO income is assessed from the board and lodging venture. This applies for income testing purposes ONLY, i.e., it does NOT apply for recalculation of RA.

Example: A single person receives $50 per week for providing accommodation and all meals, i.e., full board and lodging. The person rents the home for $65 per week.

Step Action Calculation Result
1 Calculate income received per annum (p.a.) $50 per week × 52 $2,600 p.a.
2 Calculate % of income assessable 20% of income received p.a. $520 p.a.
3 Deduct rent person pays $65 per week × 52 $3,380 p.a.
4 Calculate assessed income (result of step 2) minus (result of step 3) NIL

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.1 RA - Qualification & Payability

Reassessment for a lower amount

A lower amount may be assessed if the person claims that more than the figure allowed is expended in costs associated with the income derived from the boarder or lodger. Any claim of this nature MUST be fully investigated before a determination is made. The person MUST provide full details of costs over and above their normal household expenses, directly or indirectly associated with the boarder or lodger.

Examples: Household expenses details may include increased:

  • electricity, gas or telephone charges,
  • repairs or maintenance costs,
  • grocery or household expenses, or
  • cleaning costs, rates or other charges.

Explanation: The percentages used for administrative purposes are based on an estimation of the costs and expenses likely to be encountered by a person involved in this type of venture.

More than 5 rooms let

If more than 5 rooms are let, the net profit from the operation IS treated as income for social security purposes.

Explanation: More than 5 rooms let is defined as a commercial venture.

Rooms vacant for periods of time

When the income from rooms constantly varies due to rooms being vacant for periods of time, the net profit on the latest taxation return and assessment notice MAY be accepted as the person's income for social security purposes.

Last reviewed: 11 August 2014