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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

South Australian Housing Trust

Extra persons and overcrowding policy

The purpose of this policy

This policy sets out:

  • when Housing SA will agree to an extra person moving in with a Housing SA tenant
  • how Housing SA responds to overcrowding in public housing properties.

What an extra person is

An extra person is any household member who isn't:

  • the tenant
  • the tenant's partner
  • a dependent child of the tenant or their partner.

Getting approval for an extra person

Tenants can apply to Housing SA for an extra person to live with them. They must get Housing SA's approval before letting an extra person move in. This is part of the conditions of their lease agreement, also known as the Conditions of Tenancy.

Housing SA will only approve an extra person if the property is suitable and won't become overcrowded, and the extra person meets all of the below conditions:

  • they don't have an unarranged debt to Housing SA
  • they haven't been evicted or left a public housing property within the past 12 months because of serious disruptive behaviour
  • an intervention order won't be breached if they live at the property
  • they don't own or partly own any residential property
  • they provide proof of their identity and income to Housing SA.

Reviewing rent when an extra person moves in

An extra person moving into a tenant's home may affect the amount of rent the tenant is charged. If an extra person moves in, Housing SA will review the rent in line with the Rent assessment policy.


If there aren't enough bedrooms in the property for the number of people in the household in line with the occupancy Standards, Housing SA considers the property to be overcrowded.

If a property is overcrowded, Housing SA may be able to help the tenant by:

  • transferring them to a more suitable property in line with the Transfer policy
  • providing a portable sleep-out or relocatable building
  • building an extension to the property
  • paying bond into a private rental property in line with the Private Rental Assistance Program policy.

The type of help Housing SA can offer will depend on the property and the availability of the above services.

Portable sleep-outs and relocatable buildings


Housing SA has a limited number of portable sleep-outs and relocatable buildings available. They are in high demand and are often subject to waiting times.

Housing SA gives priority to tenants assessed as being vulnerable and at risk for reasons that include, but are not limited to:

  • there are young children living at the property
  • there are concerns about child safety
  • someone in the household has a severe disability or health issue
  • domestic abuse
  • poor property condition
  • drug or alcohol related issues.

Housing SA will only provide a portable sleep-out or relocatable building if both of the below apply:

  • it can legally and safely be positioned on the property in line with Housing SA's requirements, and any other requirements that may apply - eg from the local council
  • Housing SA is confident the tenant has a genuine need for it.


When provided with a portable sleep-out or relocatable building, tenants must agree to and meet all of the below conditions:

  • it will be used to accommodate a member of the tenant's household who permanently and normally lives with them
  • it won't be used for children aged 12 and under
  • it will be used as a bedroom, and not for any other purpose - eg not as a play room
  • the tenant will keep the area beneath and immediately around it free from any obstruction by any type of material - eg grass, wood, fuel
  • the tenant will need it for at least 18 months at the time of assessment.

The tenant's rent won't change because Housing SA has provided a portable sleep-out or relocatable building.

Ongoing eligibility

Housing SA will reassess the tenant's ongoing eligibility for the portable sleep-out or relocatable building. If the tenant is no longer eligible, Housing SA will remove it or demolish it if it's in poor condition. Tenants must give Housing SA staff and contractors access to the property for this purpose.

Extending a property

Housing SA will only extend a property if it's cost effective and the property can be legally and safely extended in a way that meets all requirements that apply - eg local council requirements.

The market rent will be reviewed by the State Valuer-General and may change in line with the Rent assessment policy if a property is extended.

Related laws, policies and documents

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting guidelines

  • Extra persons guidelines v 13
  • Overcrowding guidelines v 4

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

26 July  2016  

Version number


The online version of the policy is the approved and current version. There is no guarantee that any printed copies are current.

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .

Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
15 Oct 2018
The DHS website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016