The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.R.160 Rent (RA)


For the purposes of RA, rent means amounts paid or payable on a regular basis by a RA applicant or recipient or their partner, as a condition of occupying their principal home. Rent includes amounts paid for:

  • lodging
  • accommodation in a care situation, defined in the SSAct subsection 13(9)
    • Exception: Government subsidised Residential Aged Care is precluded from RA.
  • service or maintenance fee for services provided in a retirement village
  • the use of site for a
    • caravan or other vehicle
    • mobile home
    • transportable home, or
    • tent, and
  • the right to moor a vessel.

Amounts are considered to be paid on a regular basis where they are paid at least quarterly. Some income support recipients who pay rent on a less regular basis can also receive RA if the Secretary is satisfied that the amounts should be treated as rent for the purposes of the SSAct under section 13(2).

Example: Amounts for the following are considered to be paid on a regular basis if they are paid at least quarterly:

  • site fees paid for a

    • caravan or other vehicle, OR
    • mobile home, OR
    • transportable home, OR
    • tent, OR
  • service or maintenance fees for services provided in a retirement village.

Act reference: SSAct section 11A(1) Principal home, section 13(2) Amounts are rent …, section 13(9) For the purposes of this Act, unless the contrary intention appears …

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.1 RA - qualification & payability

Last reviewed: