This policy sets out:

  • who’s considered to be a visitor or another occupant
  • when tenants need to tell Housing SA about other occupants
  • how Housing SA responds to overcrowding in public and Aboriginal housing properties

This policy applies to tenants renting public and Aboriginal housing and housing in Aboriginal communities managed by Housing SA.

The tenant is the person who signed the lease agreement, also known as the Conditions of Tenancy or Tenancy Agreement in Aboriginal communities, with Housing SA.

Visitors

Someone is a visitor if they meet both the below conditions:

  • they have their own residential address, separate from the tenant’s address
  • they’re staying at the property for 12 weeks or less

A visitor’s income isn’t included when calculating rent.

A visitor becomes another occupant in the tenant’s household when either:

  • they stay longer than 12 weeks
  • their residential address is the same as the tenant’s

Tenants are responsible for getting Housing SA’s written approval if they want the visitor to become another occupant.

Other occupants

Another occupant is anyone living in the property who isn’t the tenant or a visitor. Their income is included when calculating rent in line with the Rent policy.

Tenants must:

  • tell Housing SA when another occupant moves in or out of their household
  • get written approval from Housing SA, except if the other occupant’s a child aged under 16 of the tenant or the tenant’s partner
  • provide proof of income and identity for anyone moving into the household aged 16 and over

Housing SA approves other occupants provided there’s enough room in the property, and the other occupant meets all the below conditions:

  • they aren’t excluded from public and Aboriginal housing in line with the Antisocial behaviour policy
  • it won’t contravene the conditions of an intervention order
  • they don’t have an interest in residential property, except if they’re living in an Aboriginal community
  • they aren’t a Housing SA tenant at another address
  • they don’t have an unarranged debt with Housing SA

Other occupants with an interest in residential property may be approved in certain circumstances, for example the other occupant’s experiencing domestic abuse, in line with the Property ownership policy.

If the tenant allows another occupant to live at the property without Housing SA’s approval, they’re breaking the conditions of their lease agreement.

Overcrowding

If there aren’t enough bedrooms for the number of people in the household in line with the Occupancy standards in public housing, the property’s overcrowded.

Housing SA may be able to help the tenant by:

  • transferring them to a more suitable property in line with the Transfer policy
  • registering them for a mutual exchange in line with the Mutual exchange policy
  • providing a portable sleepout or relocatable building
  • building an extension or converting a property
  • helping them access alternative accommodation, for example renting privately
  • referring the tenant to support agencies

Portable sleepouts and relocatable buildings

Housing SA may provide a portable sleepout or relocatable building if all the below conditions are met:

  • the property’s not in a remote Aboriginal community
  • the property’s overcrowded in line with the Occupancy standards in public housing
  • providing the portable sleepout or relocatable building will relieve overcrowding
  • the portable sleepout or relocatable building can legally and safely be positioned at the property in line with all applicable requirements, for example approval from the local council
  • the portable sleepout or relocatable building will be used to accommodate an approved household member aged 13 or older
  • the tenant needs the portable sleepout or relocatable building for at least 18 months from the time of Housing SA’s assessment

Housing SA has a limited number of portable sleepouts and relocatable buildings. They’re in high demand and have wait times. Vulnerable and at-risk tenants are given priority, including if:

  • there are concerns about child safety
  • someone in the household has a severe disability or health issues
  • domestic abuse is verified in line with the Domestic abuse policy

The tenant must agree to meet both the below conditions if they’re provided with a portable sleepout or relocatable building:

  • it’ll be used as a bedroom and not for any other purpose, for example not as a playroom
  • the area beneath and immediately around it is kept free from obstruction by any type of material, for example grass, wood, fuel

Having a portable sleepout or relocatable building doesn’t affect the tenant’s rent.

Tenants must remain eligible for the portable sleepout or relocatable building while it’s at the property. Housing SA regularly reviews eligibility.

The portable sleepout or relocatable building is either removed or demolished once the tenant stops being eligible. Tenants must give Housing SA staff and contractors access to the property for this purpose.

Extensions and conversions

Housing SA may build an extension to a property or convert 2 attached dwellings into 1 dwelling if all the below conditions are met:

  • the property’s overcrowded in line with the Occupancy standards in public housing
  • the property’s not in an Aboriginal community
  • it’s cost effective
  • the extension or conversion can legally and safely be completed at the property in line with all applicable requirements, for example approval from the local council
  • building the extension or conversion will relieve overcrowding and the tenant has a genuine need for it
  • it’s appropriate to the future planning intent for the property, for example the property hasn’t been selected for redevelopment

The market rent for the property’s reviewed in line with the Rent policy.

Related information

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting documents

  • Visitors, other occupants and overcrowding guideline v3
  • Extra bedroom procedures v1

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

14 April 2020

Version number

3

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