Direct debit from your Centrelink payments
You can have your payment taken from your fortnightly Centrelink payments automatically.
This is called the Rent Deduction Service. It's free and your payment will always be up to date.
You can also make maintenance and arrears payments this way.
When you sign your tenancy agreement, we automatically sign you up for this service.
You can cancel it at any time if you don't want to use it.
If you are not signed up and want to, contact your local housing office.
Direct debit from your bank account
You can have your payment amount paid automatically from your bank account. Some banks might charge a fee for this, so check with your bank.
Change your direct debit
If you want to stop, pause or change the direct debit, contact your local housing office.
You will need to tell us what you want changed:
- In writing
- At least 5 business days before your next payment is due.
At the post office
You can make your payment using your rent payment card at any Victorian Australia Post outlet or agency. This card can only be used to pay your rent.
Go to the Australia Post website to find your nearest Australia Post office.
Check your payments
If you want to check your rental account balance or see if your payment has been pmade, contact your local housing office.
Only tenants are able to check. If you are a resident, you can ask the tenant in your household to check on your payments for you.
The tenant will need to give us:
- The property's address or service ID
- Proof of the tenant's identity.
If you can't pay your rent, tell your local office straight away – they will help you work out what to do.
You can also ask for help from the Tenancy plus support program. They offer support to help you keep your tenancy.
If you get more than $5 behind in your rent, we send you a letter asking you to pay the unpaid amount.
We will give you one week from receiving the letter to contact us to talk about your repayment options.
If you don't contact us, your housing officer will contact you.
Don't ignore our letters or messages. It is important that we talk to you about your repayment options.
Repayment options give you opportunities to make up a missed payment.
If you can't pay the amount you owe straight away, we may be able to arrange a 'local agreement' with you. This means you would pay your weekly rent plus an extra amount over an agreed time.
It is important to stick to the agreement. If you miss a payment, you can't make another local agreement. If this happens we may need to take action to get back what you owe through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The Victorial Civil and Administrative Tribunal is an independent tribunal (like a court). The tribunal hears and makes decisions on a range of disputes, including those between landlords and tenants.
Do I have to go to the tribunal hearing?
If you have to go to a tribunal hearing, you can explain to the tribunal why your rent payments haven't been made.
The tribunal listens to you (the tenant) and us (the landlord). It then makes a decision based on the law.
What happens at the tribunal?
If you have not made your rental payments, the tribunal may establish a legal agreement.
This is the same as a local agreement except that it is backed by law.
If you break the legal agreement, we can return to the tribunal and ask for an order for possession. This means you may not be able to stay in the property any more.
It is important that you go to the hearing to explain why you have not paid your rent.
If you don't go, the tribunal won't be able to hear your side of the story and could issue an order for possession against you.
What happens if the department gets an order for possession?
An order for possession means you don't have a legal right to stay in the property any more.
If the tribunal grants this order, your housing officer will write and ask you to visit your local office for an interview.
At the interview you'll be given one more chance to pay back what you owe.
If you don't pay, we'll get a warrant of possession allowing us to evict you.
- Always make your payment on time
- Make your payments from your Centrelink payment or bank account. This way, your payment is automatically paid on time
- Contact your local office immediately if you can't pay or if you forget to pay. This way, you won't get too far behind and we have a better chance of helping you to repay the money you owe
- Never ignore a letter from us if you are behind in your payment. We may have to take legal action against you.
Where does my rent go?
Your rent helps maintain and make public housing safer.
In 2015-16, your rental payments contributed to:
- 286,000 repair jobs
- 70,025 phone calls to keep in touch with older tenants and make sure they are okay
- More than $254 million in home maintenance and upgrades
- $17.3 million of grounds and estate maintenance
- $2.3 million in major modifications to help people with disabilities.