Changes to market rent values used for public housing
The Department of Communities (the Department) is updating market rent values to better align with market rents within the private market. This will ensure tenants pay a fair and appropriate level of rent.
Market rent is paid where:
- it is lower than 25 per cent of the weekly assessable household income; or
- tenants and householders do not provide required income information; or
- tenancies are found to be ineligible for public housing due to exceeding the income or asset limits; or
- where tenancies illegally sublet the property to another party.
Approximately 95 per cent of tenancies pay 25 per cent of their weekly assessable household income as rent and the remaining five per cent pay the assessed market rent value of the property. The majority of tenancies will, therefore still pay the same amount of rent following the market rent update.
The market rent values are independently determined by Landgate, the Western Australian Land Information Authority.
Historically, the Department updated market rent values from Landgate every few years, with the last update in 2014. From 2017-18 market rent values will be updated annually.
The 2017-18 update will result in increased rent charges for around 1,200 tenancies and rent decreases for around 650 tenancies. The Department will write to those whose rent will change. Rent decreases will commence from 20 November 2017 and rent increases from 15 January 2018.
Rent increases will be capped to $40 per week or 15 per cent of the current rent charge, whichever is reached first.
The following two examples show how the market rent update will impact the majority (around 94 per cent) of tenancies.
See more scenarios in this infographic.
Example 1: Mike, eligible public housing tenant
The market rent for the property Mike is living in has increased from $250 to $275. However Mike's rent remains unchanged at $200 as this is 25 per cent of his weekly assessable household income, and it is lower than both the current and new market rent valuations of the property.
Example 2: Sharon, eligible public housing tenant
The market rent for the property Sharon is living in has decreased from $250 to $235 per week. Sharon's rent remains unchanged at $200 per week due to 25 per cent of her weekly assessable household income being lower than the new market rent of the property.