The added expenses that come with Christmas and the New Year can strain household budgets. Here are some suggestions to help you avoid falling behind in rent payments during the holidays.
You can choose to have your rent paid automatically, either by a Centrelink deduction or bank direct debit. If you receive a Centrelink payment, rent can be automatically deducted from your fortnightly payment and sent to the department. This service is free.
If you choose a bank direct debit, you need to check if your bank charges a fee for direct debits.
Contact your nearest Department of Housing office for more information or to request an Easypay authority form.
Be aware of bank arrangements on public holidays
If your usual payment date falls on a public holiday, you need to leave sufficient funds in your account for the payment to occur on the next business day.
Both your bank and the department may charge you a dishonour fee if there are not enough funds in your account to cover the payment.
Credit in your rental account
If your rental account is in credit, you may be able to use this extra money in your rental account to cover your rent payments due over the holidays. You can request a refund of any credit or pay less rent until the excess credit is used up. Please note that you must still keep your rent two weeks in advance at all times.
Keep in touch with your area office
Contact your nearest Department of Housing office as soon as possible if you are finding it difficult to make your rent payments during the holiday period. Arrears can accumulate quickly and will become more difficult to repay the longer you leave it.
Area Office staff will be better able to assist you if you discuss the situation before you fall too far behind. The area office can work out a payment schedule to get your payments up to date.