Rental Amnesty available until 26 October, 2018.
For the period 3 September 2018 until 26 October 2018, Evolve Housing is offering an amnesty on undisclosed income, unauthorised additional occupants, undisclosed financial assets and undisclosed property ownership. This amnesty coincides with the rent review period commencing 3 September 2018 and applies to all Residents of Evolve Housing properties.
Residents are required to tell Evolve Housing about any changes to their income, household members, financial assets and property ownership within 28 days of the change.
This is very important as your social housing rent is calculated as a proportion of your total household income. If additional income, additional people, financial assets or property ownership are not declared, the Tenant or their approved household members may be paying less rent then they should.
This is not fair to other Evolve Housing Residents that are doing the right thing and it also means there is less money available to reinvest in social housing activities. Social Housing is a valued resource and should be available to those people with the greatest need.
How does the amnesty work?
The amnesty gives Tenants an opportunity to do the right thing and tell Evolve Housing about undisclosed income, unauthorised additional occupants, financial assets and property ownership, without having to pay back any money owed due to the non-disclosure.
In addition, information is often received from members of the community during the amnesty period, about Residents who may not be doing the right thing. In these cases, the Tenant will be notified in writing of the allegation and will be given the opportunity to discuss this with Evolve Housing and disclose any necessary information. If they do so they will also be protected by the amnesty.
What happens if you do not advise Evolve Housing about changes to your household income?
Tenants who do not advise Evolve Housing during the amnesty period may:
a. have their rent subsidy cancelled;
b. have a large debt to repay; and/or
c. face more serious actions by Evolve Housing such as termination of their tenancy.
However any of these actions can be stopped by simply contacting Evolve Housing on 1800 693 865 during the amnesty period from 3 September until 26 October 2018, and asking for a Business Support Officer.
What does this mean?
Tenants who declare undisclosed income, unauthorised additional occupants or financial assets:
- Will not be charged back rent; and
- Will not be evicted as a result of any information provided during the amnesty period.
Tenants or their spouses who are found to own or part-own property which makes them ineligible for social housing assistance will not be charged back rent, however they:
- Will be charged full market rent from the date of declaration; and
- Will be expected to vacate their Evolve Housing property so it can be available to others on the waiting list.
Any additional household members who are found to own or part-own property, will be charged rent based on the value of the property being considered a financial asset.
Process after the Tenant makes a declaration
- The Tenant should complete an Application for Rental Subsidy Form and submit it to Evolve Housing with supporting documentation.
- The Tenant’s rental payments will be reassessed to take into account any undisclosed income, unauthorised additional occupants, financial assets and property ownership status.
- The Tenant will be advised of their new rent amount and under the terms of the amnesty, will only commence payment of the new amount from the date of disclosure.
- If an assessment finds that a Tenant or household member cannot continue to live in an Evolve Housing property due to their property ownership status, they will be expected to vacate the property.
Undisclosed income: is any income received by a household member which has not been disclosed to Evolve Housing. Income can be from Centrelink benefits, Veteran Affairs pension, overseas pension, employment, income made from a business, superannuation benefits, work cover or insurance payments, child support or dividends on investments, interest on savings, Defence Force payments, winnings, money from inheritance, rollover funds, an income stream, scholarships, prizes and grants.
Undisclosed additional occupant: a person living in the property who has not been approved by Evolve Housing to live in the property and who is not paying their share of the rent.
Financial assets: can include cash, savings, investments, shares, term deposits or an interest in a business.
Property ownership: can include ownership or part ownership of a residential property in Australia or overseas.
Further information and the Application for Rental Subsidy Form can be obtained by contacting Evolve Housing on 1800 693 865.
Click here to download the Rental Amnesty Factsheet.
Click here to download the Rental Subsidy Form.