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Department of Human Services

South Australian Housing Trust

Probationary and fixed term lease agreements policy

This policy sets out how Housing SA:

  • determines the type and length of lease agreement public and Aboriginal housing tenants are offered
  • reviews leases and determines outcomes.

Housing SA’s lease agreement, also known as the Conditions of Tenancy, sets out the conditions that apply to a tenancy. The person who signs the lease agreement is the tenant.

Lease agreements end in line with the Ending a public housing tenancy policy.

Exceptions to this policy

This policy doesn’t apply to a tenant whose tenancy began before 1 October 2010, including if:

This policy doesn’t apply to:

  • housing in Aboriginal Communities managed by Housing SA
  • Homelessness Supportive Housing Program
  • Integrated Housing Exits Program
  • Integrated Housing Exits Youth Justice Program
  • Short Term Housing Program
  • Pathways Housing Program.

Probationary lease agreements

All new Housing SA tenants are offered a 12 month probationary lease agreement.

The aim of probationary lease agreements is to:

  • emphasise the need for tenants to meet the conditions of their lease agreement
  • identify tenancy issues and intervene as early as possible to help tenants successfully maintain their tenancies
  • identify support needs and refer tenants to appropriate services.

Probationary lease agreement extensions

Tenants are offered a 12 month extension of their probationary lease agreement at the end of the initial probationary lease if both of the below apply:

  • the tenant has had issues meeting the conditions of their lease agreement
  • the issues aren’t continuous or significant.

New lease visits

Housing SA carries out a new lease visit at a tenant’s home six months into a probationary lease agreement or a probationary lease agreement extension. During the visit, Housing SA:

  • discusses any issues the tenant may have meeting the conditions of their lease agreement
  • gives the tenant a chance to talk about any concerns they have about the tenancy
  • identifies if the tenant needs support and refers them to appropriate services.

Fixed term lease agreements

Fixed term lease agreements can be for a period of one, two, five or ten years.

One and two year lease agreements

Tenants are offered a one year fixed term lease agreement if they complete the below lease agreements with significant issues:

  • probationary lease agreement extension
  • any type of fixed term lease agreement.

Tenants are offered a two year fixed term lease agreement if they complete a probationary lease agreement extension or a one year fixed term lease agreement with no or minor issues.

Five or ten year lease agreements

Tenants are offered a five year lease agreement if they either:

  • complete a probationary lease agreement with no or minor issues
  • complete a two, five or ten year fixed term lease agreement with no or minor issues.

Tenants are offered a ten year lease agreement if they’re eligible for a five year lease agreement and meet one of the below conditions:

  • they’re aged 65 or over, or 45 and over if they’re of Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander descent, either on or before the end date of their current lease agreement
  • they, or someone in their household, has a verified long-term disability or medical condition.

Verification of a long-term disability or medical condition can include:

  • they receive the Disability Support Pension from Centrelink
  • they receive the special or intermediate rate of a Disability Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • they receive a Carer Payment or Carer Allowance from Centrelink, the person they care for doesn’t have to live in the property
  • they receive support from someone who receives either the Carer Payment or Carer Allowance from Centrelink, the carer doesn’t have to live at the property
  • being housed through the Mental Health Supported Social Housing Program.

Reviewing lease agreements

Housing SA reviews lease agreements to determine if the tenant should be offered another lease agreement, and the length of the lease agreement.

Reviews are carried out:

  • towards the end of the lease agreement
  • when a tenant with a fixed term lease agreement transfers to another property in line with the Transfer policy
  • when the tenant exchanges properties in line with the Tenant exchange policy
  • when the tenant’s relocated in line with the Relocations policy.

During the review, Housing SA considers if the tenant has met the conditions of their lease agreement. This includes assessing if the tenant:

  • has paid rent and any other charges - eg water, maintenance
  • has a debt to Housing SA, and if they’re repaying it in line with the Debt policy
  • has had complaints made against them about antisocial behaviour
  • is maintaining the property, including outside areas
  • has received assistance they aren’t eligible for - eg incorrectly paying a subsidised rent
  • has used, or allowed the property to be used, for illegal purposes
  • has an interest in residential property
  • is excluded from the property by an interim or final intervention order.

Housing SA takes into consideration any unresolved support issues relating to the tenancy, and if the tenant’s engaging with support services.

Related information

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting guidelines

  • Probationary and fixed term lease agreement guidelines v2

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

18 April 2019

Version number


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

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Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
22 May 2019
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