General tenancy information

Housing inspections

At some point during your tenancy we will need to access your residence in order to:

  • carry out repairs and maintenance work
  • provide periodic access for the lessor (if the property is leased)
  • organise the sale or valuation of the property, or
  • check the property prior to you vacating it.

Typically, you will be provided with at least seven days notice prior to an inspection but at a minimum, you will be given 72 hours notice. During these inspections, please ensure your dogs are restrained.

A Welcome Inspection occurs prior to you occupying your property. The purpose of this inspection is to welcome you to your new home and explain key information such as your rights and responsibilities as the occupant. It is a requirement that the Defence member signs the Tenancy Agreement and Ingoing Condition report (ICR) upon acceptance of a property.

A pre-vacation inspection (PVI) occurs prior to you moving out. Defence Housing Australia will contact you to arrange a suitable time. It is a requirement that the Defence member is present at the PVI so you understand your obligations for maintenance and any potential tenant charges.

If you are unable to attend your PVI, you may appoint someone to attend on your behalf. This person may be your spouse, partner or a representative. Login to Online Services today to appoint an Agent. For more information on how to appoint an agent please see Appointment of Agent.

In order to maintain and monitor the quality of housing we provide, we conduct periodic inspections of your property during business hours. The inspection is carried out by a Property Manager and arranged by Defence Housing Australia, should you need to change the date/time of this inspection please contact Defence Housing Australia on 139 342. The purpose of the inspection is to identify any maintenance requirements and any non-fair wear and tear. Read about how we define non-fair wear and tear and the standards of repair required. We may conduct additional periodic inspections of the property to help maintain the quality of our housing.
If you are residing in a property which has recently constructed/upgraded as a part of Defence Housing Australia’s program of provisioning housing stock, a defect or structural inspection may be required during your tenancy to identify any defects and facilitate the necessary repairs that may exist on your property prior to the defect or structural warranty period.
The owner of a leased property is entitled to reasonable access if they are to on-sell or have their property valued. They must first contact us and where possible, we will combine a lessor inspection with a periodic inspection to minimise inconvenience.
We sell some of our properties to private investors. If your residence is to be included in this program, we will notify you and arrange for prospective investors to view the property at a mutually convenient time.
  • The prospective purchaser will be accompanied through the property by a contracted Sales Consultant, or Defence Housing Australia staff member, and will remain with the Defence Housing Australia representative at all times.
  • No photos will be taken.
  • No cupboards, drawers etc. will be opened.
  • Additional inspections may be required by the prospective purchaser for the purpose of building/pest inspections and bank valuations. These will be coordinated with you at a mutually convenient time.
  • Please note the Defence Housing Australia representative attending the inspection is a sales representative. If you need to discuss matters about the property, please call Defence Housing Australia on 139 342.
  • Photos may need to be taken to assist the company with its report.
  • Inspections may be required by the purchaser for the purpose of a building, pest, or bank valuations. These will be coordinated with you at a mutually convenient time.
  • If you need to discuss matters about the property, please contact Defence Housing Australia on 139 342.

During your tenancy

We support tenants wherever practicable in the operation of a business from home. If you wish to operate a BFH, you must first apply in writing to your local regional office (RO).

Applicants must be a recognised dependant of a serving member.

The following documentation must be supplied with your application:

  • A description of the type of business you wish to operate (including business registration details).
  • evidence of local council approval.
  • proof of insurance coverage within an existing or new policy (including public liability coverage of at least $10 million for a single event).
  • The Business from home form.

During periodic inspections, our staff will request a copy of the current insurance policy for the operation of the BFH.

Ongoing operation of the business must be in accordance with the requirements of all relevant authorities such as (but not limited to) DHA, the Owner’s Corporation and Government bodies.

Modifications required to make the Service Residence suitable for the operation of the business must be submitted to us in writing for approval. Such modifications are at your cost. Approval is conditional upon agreement between the lessor, Base Commander (where applicable), owner’s corporation (where applicable) and DHA. In applying for such approval, you agree to make good any modifications to the Service Residence at the end of your tenancy or upon cancellation of this approval.

Non-fair-wear-and-tear or accelerated deterioration in the condition of the Service Residence (including fixtures and fittings) due to such approval, is your responsibility as the tenant. If you’re found to be in breach of your responsibilities as a tenant, we will withdraw the right to operate a BFH.

Pets are an important part of many Defence families and are welcome in most of our properties.

To ensure you are offered a property that suits your family’s needs, it is important that you specify the type and number of pets on your Toll Transitions Application for Relocation (AFR).

Each property in Online Services will outline the pet requirements for that property. Where the requirements indicate ‘By Application – Strata’, request approval by raising an enquiry in Online Services under ‘My Account’.  In these cases, approval is required from authorities such as the building’s body corporate who may place restrictions on the size, type or number of animals allowed. Some councils also have rules and regulations around pet ownership that may affect choosing and/or living in your Service Residence.

Should you wish to get a new pet during your tenancy, you should first raise an enquiry in Online Services under ‘My Account’  as approval may be dependent on body corporate, strata and Municipal Council bylaws regarding pets (where applicable).

These requirements are also outlined in Defence Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN), Chapter 7.

If you wish to connect Pay TV at your property, submit the Application for Pay TV form to your local Regional Office for approval.

Some pay TV providers have agreed to amend their contracts with DHA tenants so that:

With prior Regional Office approval, the installation can remain in place following vacation of the residence, pending a subscription being taken up by the incoming tenant, and the provider accepts responsibility for care and maintenance of the item, and if not required, agrees to remove and make good the installation at no expense to DHA or the Department of Defence.

A full list of your responsibilities and obligations when applying are listed on the Application for Pay TV form (PDF 100KB). For further information and a list of the providers already working with us, please contact your local Regional Office.
Before you install an above-ground swimming pool or spa, and any necessary fencing you must obtain written approval from DHA and the local council.

A swimming pool is defined in the Swimming Pools Act 1992 as an excavation, structure or vessel:

  1. that is capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300 millimetres or more; and
  2. that is solely or principally used, or that is designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used, for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity.

This includes a spa pool, but does not include a spa bath, anything that is situated within a bathroom or anything declared by the regulations not to be a swimming pool for the purpose of this Act.

Local legislation requires pool safety compliance inspections to be conducted once approval and installation has been completed.

There are a number of requirements that need to be met before approval is given to have a swimming pool/spa installed at your SR. If you have not gained the necessary approvals, you are in breach of your DRA and will be asked to immediately reduce the volume of water to less than 300 millimetres depth until such approvals are obtained.

If you have any questions relating to the installation or wish to seek approval please contact DHA on 139 342.

To find out more about the your responsibilities during tenancy for maintaining swimming pools, please visit Your maintenance responsibilities.

Before you vacate

When you vacate your Service Residence it is your responsibility to ensure that it is cleaned to the cleaning standards as agreed to between DHA and the Department of Defence.

In order to minimise associated costs for extra cleaning which have not met the required standard, you should pay particular attention to certain aspects of your final clean. For example, make sure the oven and grill have no burnt-on grease or carbon deposits and ensure mould, mildew or soap scum is removed from bathrooms.

We will complete a thorough cleaning and maintenance check (including a professional steam clean of the carpets) after your departure in preparation for the new tenants. Carpet cleaning charges will be automatically deducted from your salary.

After uplift you do not need to clean the area where your large appliances or pieces of furniture were positioned during your tenancy.
You must ensure that:
  • You continue to water all gardens and lawns until the day of uplift, subject to local water restrictions
  • All garden beds, lawns and paths are weed free
  • Shrubs and trees are trimmed back from the house, gutters, clothesline and pathways (if required)
  • Lawns are mowed and the edges trimmed
  • Garden clippings and house-hold rubbish are removed
  • Wet grease and oil stains are to be cleaned off the driveway and parking areas
  • Arrangements are made for the collection of any skips and trash packs etc
  • Rubbish is removed and the bins are cleaned and secured in the garage or garden shed
  • The residence and grounds are free from pest infestations stemming from pets
  • The garage is swept out, and
  • You clean all gutters that can be reached with a standard 1.8 metre step ladder (contact your local regional office for assistance with high set gutters).
  • Clean all mould from windows, sliding doors, window and door tracks, blinds, pergolas and fences
  • Pressure clean all staining and dirt from external paths, driveways (take care if painted), fences and patio slabs.
You are required to:
  • Vacuum all carpeted floor areas
  • Sweep and mop any non-carpeted floors
  • Remove all rubbish from the Service Residence and surrounding grounds
  • Clean heating and cooling filters
  • Replace all blown light globes, and
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors and all remotes.

You do not need to re-clean the floors after your uplift.

Wet areas

As close as possible to your uplift, you are required to clean all wet areas thoroughly, removing mildew and soap scum. On the day of uplift you must ensure that the toilet and shower areas are clean.


You are required to remove food residue and grease from sinks, splashbacks and bench tops. The hot plates, oven, grill, range hood and filters must be cleaned before uplift to remove all burnt on deposits and grease. Place sink plugs under the sink to ensure they are not packed at uplift.

The Pre-vacation Inspection cleaning standard is intended to be a reasonable starting point for us to prepare the property for the next tenant. Your Property Manager is available to discuss these cleaning standards with you at any time.

It’s important to know that when you’re relocating at your own expense as a Defence tenant you are not eligible for a Defence funded clean when vacating an SR and you are responsible for cleaning the residence to the Defence standard. The above cleaning checklist is not to be used for own expense relocations.

DHA will provide and offer you access to our contractors for cleaning if requested and you will be required to pay the full costs of the clean and any additional cleaning charges. 

If you have any concerns or questions please ensure to discuss these matters with your Property Manager at the time of your Pre-vacation Inspection or contact 139 342.

View the Self move cleaning checklist (PDF 79 KB) to assist in the requirements needed when you have decided to conduct a self-move.

Note: The Self move cleaning checklist is not to be used when conducting a government funded removal, please refer to the Tenant Handbook (PDF 1.4 MB) when this is occurring.