This policy sets out how Housing SA:

  • determines the type and length of the lease agreement offered to public and Aboriginal housing tenants
  • reviews lease agreements and determines outcomes

The lease agreement 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 managed by Housing SA in Aboriginal communities
  • 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 purpose of the probationary lease 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 extension

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 6 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 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.

1 and 2 year lease agreements

Tenants are offered a 1 year fixed term lease agreement if they complete the below lease agreement with significant issues:

  • a probationary lease agreement extension
  • any type of fixed lease agreement

Tenants are offered a 2 year fixed term lease agreement if they complete a probationary lease agreement extension or a 1 year fixed term lease agreement with no or minor issues.

5 or 10 year lease agreements

Tenants are offered a 5 year lease agreement if they either:

  • complete a probationary lease agreement with no or minor issues
  • complete a 2, 5 or 10 year fixed term lease with no or minor issues

Tenants are offered a 10 year lease agreement if they’re eligible for a 5 year lease agreement and meet 1 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, but isn't limited to:

  • they receive 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
  • being housed through the Mental Health Supported 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 Mutual 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 other charges, for example water, maintenance
  • if they have a debt to Housing SA and if they are repaying it in line with the Account management 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, for example incorrectly paying a subsidised rent
  • has used, or allowed the property to be used, for illegal purposes
  • owns or partly owns any residential property, in line with the Property ownership policy
  • is excluded from the property under the conditions of an intervention order
  • has any unresolved support issues and if they’re engaging with their support services

Related information

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting guideline

  • Probationary and fixed term lease agreements guideline v4

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

18 October 2022

Version number


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