Content

Frequently Asked Questions

Tenant Toolbox


General

Q. Who is entitled to be housed in a Government Regional Officers’ Housing property?
A.  You are eligible to be housed in a GROH home if you are an employee of a GROH client department. However, the decision to provide you with a GROH home and the type of home you are given, is at the discretion of your department and is also dependent on the availability of GROH accommodation at the time of the request. If you or your partner own residential accommodation within 50 kilometers of your place of employment in which you might reasonably reside, you are not eligible for GROH accommodation. Please contact the housing liaison officer in your department if you are in doubt.
 
Before being provided with GROH accommodation, applicant’s are required to sign a Statutory Declaration which forms part of their application for GROH accommodation. By signing this Statutory Declaration an applicant warrants that they (or their partner) do not own a property that is within proximity (50km) of the occupant’s place of employment and in which they could reasonably reside. Determinations relating to eligibility, including whether a property is considered reasonable to reside, is made by the Housing Authority. Therefore the ownership of any real property must be declared in the application for housing. 
 
Where a person completes a false or misleading Statutory Declaration this may amount to misconduct and/or contravention of the Criminal Code.
 
Q.  What is GROH accommodation?
 
A.  We provide properties to other government agencies and departments through the Government Regional Officers’ Housing (GROH) program.  The employing agency sub-leases the properties to their eligible employees. 

Q. How do I pay rent?
 
A. You pay rent directly to your employer, usually by pay deductions. Any overpayments can only be recouped from the your employer.
 
We invoice tenants only for Water Consumption and Tenant Liability. These invoices can be paid online via our Online Bill Payment page.
 
Q. How long do tenancy agreements last?
 
A. Your tenancy agreement is not for a fixed term. They are periodical and valid until you vacate the property.
 
Agencies sign fixed term leases for our properties, which they negotiate with us.
 
Q. What are the rules about pets?
 
A. There are few common sense rules:
  • Dogs and cats can be kept, subject to approval , provided the property has a separate yard that is properly enclosed in accordance with local authority by-laws ;

  • Tenants must ensure that their pet does not damage the property or disturb neighbors. Any damage that occurs due to pets will be assessed as tenant liability and the tenant will be responsible for costs associated with rectifying the damage;

  • If you live in a flat or unit without an enclosed separate yard, you must comply with the relevant strata management regulations

  • Some breeds are not allowed. For more information please see your Tenant Handbook.

Q. Can other people live in my GROH house with me?
 
A. You are not permitted to sublet for payment or other consideration. Subletting will be considered a breach of your tenancy agreement and appropriate action will be taken.  
 
If you are planning to be absent for a period, but intend to return, you mush obtain written approval from us and from your employer for another person to reside in the house.
 
The caretaker/house sitter must abide by the same tenancy rules that apply to all GROH tenants.
 
For more information please see your Tenant Handbook.
 
Q. Are annual inspections conducted?
 
A. Yes – our properties will be inspected at least once a year.  Leased properties may be inspected more often (usually quarterly) by the owner or the owner’s agent.
 
Q. The property has bottled gas. How do I get my supply?
 
A. The gas bottles are hired from a gas company whose contact details will be shown on the existing bottle. Contact the local supplier to order refills.
 
If you do not have contact details for a local supplier, contact the gas company for their closest supplier.
 
You must pay for the refills, unless you reside in a south west serviced unit.
 
If you live in a remote community, gas is usually purchased from the community store.
 
Tenants who have taken up occupancy since November 2010 can nominate which LP gas supplier provides a gas bottle service to their GROH property.
 
Q. Is furniture supplied?
 
A. Furniture and white goods can be supplied to houses in the north-west, remote locations and shared accommodation in the south-west.
 
The employing agency pays us for furniture, and may pass this fee on to you.
 
Our furniture must stay with the house. It should not be swapped, removed or transferred to another property. Replacement fees will apply.
 
For more information please see the GROH Furniture Policy.
 
Q. Shared tenancies – how are they different?
 
A. Sometimes the employing agency and / or employee will choose to share accommodation between two or more employees. In these cases:
 
  • The employing agency is responsible for paying all water consumption and tenant liability for shared tenancies. The employing agency may choose to pass these fees on to the tenants.
  • Power and gas supply charges are usually the responsibility of the tenants. Tenants should seek clarification from their employer about their policy on utility charges.
  • Tenants are still bound by the Residential Tenancy Act 1987 and have the same rights and obligations as other tenants under the Act.
Q. Can I request air conditioning?
 
A. Under the Government Housing Air Conditioning Policy, ducted air conditioning is provided in locations that are:
  • North of the 26° south latitude
  • South of the 26° south latitude but north of the fifty (50) day RSI line, where the RSI criteria is for both day and night.
If your property meets these conditions and does not have air conditioning, please contact your department to discuss. 

Q. What is the Home Ownership Subsidy Scheme (HOSS) ? 
 
A. The Home Ownership Subsidy Scheme (HOSS) provides State Government departments and agencies with an alternative incentive to attract and retain staff in regional locations. 
 
The scheme provides home loan subsidies as an alternative to rental subsidies for a maximum of five years.
 
For more information please see the HOSS Policy and / or contact your Department.

Q. Can I appeal a decision made by the Housing Authority?
 
A. You have a right to appeal. This right is an integral part of our Customer Service Charter.
 
The appeal mechanism is informal, thorough, fair and inexpensive means of appealing a decision.
 
If you  wish to dispute a decision taken against you either during your tenancy or after you have vacated the premises, please contact your Housing Services Officer. 
 

Maintenance


Q. How do I arrange maintenance?
 
A. Call Housing Direct on 1300 137 677. Non urgent requests can be lodged with the online form
 
General maintenance must be reported to Housing Direct as soon as practicable.
 
Emergency maintenance issues must be reported immediately.
 
Housing Direct provides a 24-hour emergency contact centre to handle emergency maintenance issues between 5 pm and 8 am on work days and 24 hours  a day on weekends and public holidays. 

Q. What is considered emergency maintenance?
 
A. Problems such as:
  • Gas leak
  • Loss of lights or power
  • Electric shocks or sparks
  • Burst water pipes or water leak where the water must be turned off
  • Vandal damage, which compromises the security of the property.
After-hours emergency maintenance should be reported immediately to Housing Direct on the toll free number 1300 137 677. 

Q. When is a tenant responsible for maintenance?
 
A. Where damage is caused by reasons other than general wear and tear. For example:
  • Damage to walls and doors by furniture, wall posters or careless picture hanging
  • Damage to floor coverings, window treatments or furnishings by burns, stains etc.
  • Cost of clearing blocked drains, if the blockage is caused through misuse
  • Electrical fuses or circuits damaged by the occupant(s) using faulting electrical appliances
  • Eradication of household pests and vermin such as mice, cockroaches, ants or fleas that can be directly attributed to occupant standards or pets
  • Damage to fly-screens caused by occupant misuse
  • Damage caused by pets
  • Upkeep of lawns and garden areas, including reticulation systems
  • Replacement of lost keys
  • Damage or loss of any furniture supplied by GROH.
You must pay for the cost for repairs beyond general wear and tear. The cost will be charged as Tenant Liability.
 
General maintenance must be reported to Housing Direct as soon as practicable. Emergency maintenance issues must be reported immediately.

Q. Who is responsible for garden maintenance?
 
A. It is the tenant’s responsibility to maintain the garden areas of their GROH home. Tenants are required to keep plants and lawns watered and to comply with sprinkler restrictions, mow lawn areas regularly and removed weeds and debris as required. If reticulation fails, tenants are responsible for maintaining regular watering until it is fixed.
 
Tenants remain responsible for gardens even when absent on holidays and the cost to repair or re-establish the garden will be charged as Tenant Liability.  
 
Q. I have tried to arrange maintenance several times and the work is still not done.  What do I do now?
 
A. Call your Housing Services Officer (HSO) at the local office to report the situation. Your HSO will follow up with Housing Direct to progress your maintenance request. If you continue to have delays, tell a team leader or manager at your local office.
 

Invoices and payments

 
Q. I have a received a big Water Consumption or Tenant Liability account. Can I pay it in installments?
 
A. You may make an arrangement to pay appropriate installments​ by calling your Housing Services Officer. The arrangement will be lodged in your account, and no further action will be taken if you pay the installments as agreed.
 
If you fail to make an arranged payment, you may receive a breach notice. If you receive a breach notice you should contact your Housing Services Officer.

Q. I have paid my account but I am still receiving arrears letters.  What should I do?
 
A. If you have lived in multiple GROH properties, your payment may have gone to a previous account.
 
Please contact your Housing Services Officer or the Finance Officer at Housing Programs Directorate on (08) 9286 6000. Please have your payment information ready to help us trace the payment.
 
Q. How do I get a copy of my account?
 
A. A copy of your account can be requested through your Housing Services Officer or the Finance Officer at the Housing Programs Directorate on (08) 9286 6000. The account will be posted to the postal address listed in our database; if this has changed, please let us know.
 
Q. The online payment system won’t work. What can I do?
 
A. Online payments are made through an external Active Call payment site, and technical issues do occur from time to time.
 
If the problem persists and your account is overdue, call your Housing Services Officer to advise them of the problem, obtain more time to pay or discuss other payment options.
 
Q. I receive payments from GROH. How do I change my details?
 
A. For security reasons, any changes to your details need to be requested in writing by letter, fax or email.
 
Contact the Housing Programs Directorate on (08) 9286 6000 to ensure your request has been received and actioned prior to the next due date for payment.
 

Water Consumption

Q. Water consumption – who pays the bill?
 
A. Tenants are responsible for paying water consumption, except in the following situations:
 
You should only receive water bills from us, not from suppliers, real estate agents or owners. If you receive a water bill from anyone other than the Department please contact the Housing Programs Directorate as it may already have been paid.
 
Exceptions:
  • The employing organisation is responsible for water consumption for shared accommodation (i.e. where one or more non-related employees share the same dwelling)
  • The Housing Authority is responsible for water consumption in serviced accommodation where there are no individual water meters.

Water consumption accounts must be paid to Housing by the due date. For more information please see the Water Consumption Policy.

Tenants should only receive water bills from Housing, not from suppliers, real estate agents or owners. If you receive a water bill from anyone other than Housing, please contact the Housing Programs Directorate, on (08) 9286 6000, as it may already have been paid.

Q. How do I read my water meter?

A. Instructions on reading your water meter can be found on the Water Corporation website.
 
Read your water meter regularly and keep a simple record of your water use to help you alter your usage habits to suit your budget. 
 
Your water meter can also help you to detect possible leaks.   
 
Q. I have received a final notice but have not received a bill. What do I do?
 
A. You need to contact your Housing Services Officer. They will arrange a reprint of your account and negotiate an extension of the due date.
 
Q. What do I do if I think my water bill is excessive?
 
A. Follow each of the stages below:
  1. Check previous consumption
  2. Check for leaks 
  3. Call Housing Direct to arrange maintenance to repair the leak
  4. Contact your Housing Services Officer regarding a possible leak allowance or appeal.
Q. Do I have to pay an excessive water bill?
 
A. If you find a leak or have had a leak during the course of the billing period you may lodge an appeal against the charges. 
 
This should be emailed or posted to your Housing Services Officer with any evidence you have to support your appeal. 
 
Your case will be investigated and if justified an amount may be waived. 
 
Please note that high consumption caused by failure to report a known leak or damage caused by willful damage, negligence or pets will not be considered for a reduction.

Q. How do I do a leak test?
 
A. If you have an inexplicably high water consumption account or think you may have a leak, find the instructions to test for leaks on the Water Corporation website.
 
If you find a leak please contact Housing Direct to arrange maintenance. If a substantial mains leak is found, the plumber may submit a leak allowance form to Water Corporation and a credit may be issued for water lost. 

Q. Can I get help with the water bills to establish a new garden?
 
A. We may provide partial reimbursement for water consumption charges resulting from the establishment / reestablishment of gardens (including lawns). Full details can be found in the Water Consumption Policy​, section 4.