4.6.3.40 Determining Homeowners & Non-Homeowners where Home Owned by a Company or Trust

Summary

This topic discusses:

  • when a home owned by a company (1.1.C.220) or trust (1.1.T.180) is a person's principal home,
  • the types of interest (1.1.I.185) that a person can have in a company or trust,
  • reasonable security of tenure, and
  • shared equity housing.

Act reference: SSAct section 11A(1) Principal home

Principal home owned by company or trust

A person may live in a home that is owned by a company or trust in which they have an interest. The home is assessed as the person's principal home IF the person has reasonable security of tenure.

Explanation: A person is a homeowner if they have a right or interest in the place they occupy as their home, and the right or interest gives them reasonable security of tenure.

Act reference: SSAct section 11A(1) Principal home, section 11(4) Homeowner

Person has an interest in a company or trust

Situations where a person is considered to have an interest in a private company or trust include where they are a:

  • shareholder, or
  • director, or
  • trustee, or
  • beneficiary.

Act reference: SSAct section 11(4) Homeowner, section 11A(10) Reasonable security of tenure

Reasonable security of tenure

If a formal or written agreement between a company or trust and a person gives the person the right of occupancy at will or a long term lease then:

  • the person is a homeowner, AND
  • the home is assessed as the person's principal home.

If there is no formal or written agreement the person's home ownership status is based on the facts. If the person's right or interest in the home is similar to life tenancy then:

  • the person is a homeowner, AND
  • the home is assessed as the person's principal home.

When assessing whether or not a person is a homeowner consider:

  • The terms of the Trust Deed, Articles of Association and any other relevant documentation that shows:
    • the basis on which the home is occupied, and
    • any restrictions on the use or disposal of the property.
  • The relationship (e.g. personal, business) of the person to the director/s or trustee/s.
  • Whether the person is a company shareholder or trust beneficiary.
  • The length of time the person has occupied the home and the length of time they expect to stay.
  • Whether the person previously owned or partly owned the home.
  • The extent to which the person can influence the director/s or trustee/s to secure uninterrupted occupancy of the home.

Example: A person has reasonable security of tenure if they:

  • are a trustee and/or beneficiary of the trust, AND
  • live in the home, AND
  • there is no threat of terminating the occupancy.

Therefore the person is a homeowner and the home is assessed as their principal home.

Shared equity housing

Some organisations provide accommodation through a company structure, for particular income support recipient groups such as the elderly or people with a disability, on a shared equity basis. The home ownership status of applicants living in shared equity housing (1.1.S.137) is assessed using the provisions for special residences.

Act reference: SSAct section 11A(1) Principal home

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.6.4.10 General Provisions for Special Residences

Last reviewed: 1 July 2016