Living in a Service Residence

Policy relating to Service Residences (SR) is determined by the Department of Defence and is outlined on the ADF Pay and Conditions site.

The information in the Tenant Handbook (PDF 1.6 MB) will help you with all aspects of your tenancy. It provides advice and information on your responsibilities as a tenant and DHA’s role as a provider of housing and related services.

You are responsible for the opening, closing and payment of any electricity, gas, telephone or internet accounts. DHA will provide a telephone line, however handsets, if not in the property, can be purchased or rented from a telecommunications supplier at your own expense. When connecting these services, you may need to provide a copy of your DHA Residence Agreement (DRA) as confirmation of your new address.

On-base properties may use gas and electricity supplied from the Defence establishment; the billing process for these utilities will be advised by the base. For further information, please contact your local Defence Relocations Housing Manager (DRHM).


If you wish to connect Pay TV at your property, you will need to complete the Application for approval to connect pay television (PDF 576 KB). Submit completed forms in an enquiry via Online Services.


No. However, when the NBN Connection box is installed (which will be located inside the property), it is important to ensure it is not installed in wet areas, busy areas (where it may be knocked or damaged), hard to reach areas or bedrooms (as the connected modem will emit light).

If you have any questions relating to the installation on your property, please contact DHA by submitting an enquiry via Online Services.

To find out more about the NBN, please visit the NBNCO website.

Your DRA can be viewed at any time via your Online Services Account. To access, select the View or Update Tenancy Details on the Dashboard, then select Inspections and documentation will be visible under Completed Inspections.
A copy of your DRA can be accessed via your Online Services account and can be used as proof of occupancy. A Tenancy History of tenancies in properties managed by DHA and Defence are available from your dashboard in Online Services.

Your ‘domestic circumstances’ are the grounds by which SR benefits and calculations are determined. Any changes need to be notified to DHA to determine your continued eligibility for a housing benefit.

Whilst in receipt of a subsidised housing benefit you are required to advise DHA of any changes to your domestic circumstances as soon as practicably possible after the change has occurred. Supporting documentation may be required and must be submitted promptly after notifying of a change. This will ensure that any assessment of your housing benefit can be completed in a timely manner.

Change Type

Action

Categorisation change

Defence will notify DHA

Rank change

Defence will notify DHA

Period of approved leave without pay

Defence will notify DHA

Work Unit

Update via‘View/Update Tenancy Details’ in Online Services.

Dependants

Update via‘View/Update Tenancy Details’ in Online Services.

Purchase or Sale of an owned property

Update via ‘My Account’ in Online Services.

Separation from spouse or partner

Submit an Online Enquiry via ‘My Account’ in Online Services.

Moving house within locality

Submit an Online Enquiry via ‘My Account’ in Online Services.

Undertaking a flexible work arrangement outside of your posting location

Submit an Online Enquiry via ‘My Account’ in Online Services.

Discharge

Submit an Online Enquiry via ‘My Account’ in Online Services.



When you or any of your recognised dependants purchase a property, we need to conduct an assessment of the property and review its suitability. This applies regardless of whether you wish to reside in the property or not. 

Housing assistance will be determined against the considerations outlined in PACMAN in line with your current housing benefits. We require a minimum of 28 days’ notice to determine the property’s suitability and any impacts on contributions or allowances.

Contact DHA immediately after signing the contract to purchase the property by logging into Online Services and select ‘My Account’ then ‘My Profile’ to add the details of the Owned Property to your account.


Members must advise DHA before allowing any person other than themselves or their recognised dependants to remain in the SR they occupy for a period beyond 28 days.

In accordance with the DRA, members must not sub-let any portion of the service residence or accept reward from anyone occupying the SR.

Information on rubbish collection in your area will be available through your local council website.

You are responsible for looking after the grounds, lawns and gardens of your property. This includes watering, weeding, fertilising, trimming of shrubs and trees where the cutting point is 2.5m or lower, and the removal of garden waste.

You may not remove, in their entirety, any plants/shrubs or trees without prior approval from DHA, and Local authorities (if required).

DHA do not hold copies of property keys. In the event that you are locked out of the property and require access, it is your responsibility to arrange access via a locksmith.

Note: DHA can arrange a locksmith to attend on your behalf, however you will be charged a tenant charge for the call out and any works completed, including repairs required as a result of gaining access to the property.

DHA conducts periodic inspections of our properties whilst they are tenanted to ADF members.  We may also conduct other inspections from time to time, such as when we are organising the sale or valuation of the property, lessor inspections (if the property is leased to another party) and prior to you vacating.

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.

Periodic inspections

In order to maintain and monitor the quality of housing we provide, we conduct periodic inspections of your property during business hours. We will schedule this inspection and it will be carried out by a Property Manager, should you need to change the date/time of this inspection please contact DHA by submitting an enquiry via Online Services. 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.

Defect and structural inspections

If you are residing in a property which has been recently constructed/upgraded, a defect or structural inspection may be required during your tenancy to identify any defects and facilitate any necessary repairs prior to the expiry of defect or structural warranty period.

Leased property inspections

The owner of a leased property is entitled to reasonable access to inspect their property, or 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.

Property sales and valuation inspections

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.

Prospective purchaser inspection

  • 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 representative at all times.
  • No photos will be taken.
  • No cupboards, drawers etc. will be opened.
  • 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 us on 139 342.

Prospective purchaser building, pest, bank valuation inspection

  • 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.

Emergency Maintenance can be reported 24/7 through the Maintenance contact centre on 139 342.

Non urgent maintenance can be reported by submitting a maintenance request in Online Services.

Further information regarding maintenance troubleshooting and emergency maintenance can be found on the DHA website and Online Services. You can check the status and progress of your maintenance requests through Online Services.

Emergency maintenance

  • Burst water pipes or no water
  • Serious flooding
  • Sewer blockage
  • Complete loss of power
  • Electrical faults
  • Internal lights and power fittings affected by water
  • Gas leaks
  • Fire or storm damage
  • Loss of all toilet facilities

For emergency maintenance, call the 24/7 phone service on 139 342.
The emergency maintenance service is available for repairs that affect the immediate health, safety or security of you, your family or the property.

If you call for a non-emergency maintenance issue, you will be asked to submit a routine maintenance request in Online Services

What you can expect

  • A contracted maintenance provider will respond to your emergency request within four hours.
  • The maintenance work will be completed within 24 hours of receiving the request (unless the maintenance work is greater than first anticipated, in which case it may take longer).

Routine maintenance

  • Damage
  • Defects
  • Deterioration

Submit a routine maintenance request in Online Services.

What you can expect

All routine maintenance requests are logged.

  • It is our policy to respond to requests within 28 days
  • We will notify you of any delays
  • You can check the status and progress of your maintenance request through Online Services.

You will be given 14 days from your Welcome Visit, to identify and note on your condition report any additional non-fair wear and tear existing on your occupancy, not already listed. Once completed, please upload the Inspection Condition Report via ‘My Tenancy’ in Online Services. Your Inspection Condition Report can be found in your Online Services under Inspections.

Tenants are responsible for the control/eradication of pest infestations that occur after six weeks from the date of occupation of the property. The day-to-day control of pests is your responsibility. If you suspect a major infestation or plague movement, please submit an enquiry via Online Services for assistance.

Initially, where there is a neighbourhood dispute we encourage the parties to resolve the matter themselves or refer to the appropriate civil authority. If a resolution cannot be found, please submit an enquiry via Online Services and advise of the issue.

If required, we may also seek assistance from Defence Community Organisation, DRHM and the member’s unit to help resolve the dispute.

DHA supports Defence members and their families wherever practicable in the operation of a business from home (BFH). Should you wish to operate a business from home, you must first complete a BFH application. Please refer to business from home for information on the application process. 

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

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 submit an enquiry via Online Services.

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


If you are unable to attend a scheduled inspection at your property, you may appoint an agent to attend on your behalf. This could be your partner or another chosen representative.

Please note, your appointed agent cannot attend a welcome visit on your behalf. If you are unable to attend your welcome visit you can:

  • Raise an enquiry via Online Services, or
  • If your face-to-face welcome visit is within the next 72 hours, you will need to contact us on 139 342.

More information on welcome visits, including self service options can be found under the 'What is a welcome visit' FAQ under the 'Applying for a Service Residence' section above.

What can they do?

Your appointed agent can:

  • Accept full responsibility for standard carpet cleaning expenses and any non-fair wear-and-tear items identified
  • Accept actual or potential cost details as explained on the signed Inspection Condition Report (ICR)
  • Accept all aspects associated with return/acceptance of the property to Defence Housing Australia
  • Allow access to the property in the event of an emergency when the tenant is unavailable.

An appointed agent does not have the authority to perform all functions in online services which relate to you as a Defence member unless they have also been appointed as a delegate. If you would like to appoint a delegate to your Online Services account, please see the 'How do I appoint a delegate for Online Services' FAQ in the drop down directly below.

How to appoint an agent

You can appoint an agent through Online Services.

  • Go to 'My Account', 'My Profile' and then 'Manage Agents'
  • Click ‘Appoint an Agent’
  • Follow the prompts to enter the relevant contact details*
  • Read and accept the confirmation before selecting ‘Appoint as Agent’
  • Once created, it will sit in pending status until the agent responds to the automatic email notification to accept or reject the request.

*Please note, if you are asked to enter a confirmation key, this will be your chosen mix of numbers and letters (e.g., 1234). You will need to provide the confirmation key to your nominated agent for them to use when accepting your request, noting it is case sensitive.

How will I know if it’s been accepted or rejected?

You will get an email notification letting you know if the appointment of agent request was accepted or rejected.

If accepted, the appointed agent will have their own username and password to log in to Online Services.

What can my appointed agent see in Online Services?

The appointed agent will only see the below if they have been added as an attendee to any inspections (future and past inspection dates):

  • Tenant 
  • Inspection Reason
  • Inspection Date and Time 
  • Property Address
  • Completed inspections.

Can I remove an appointed agent?

Yes, you can remove your appointed agent at any time in your Online Services account. In the ‘Manage Agents’ section select the bin icon and follow the prompts.

You can arrange delegate access to your Online Services account for another person. This could be your partner or another chosen representative. A delegate can perform all functions in Online Services which relate to you as a Defence member.

What can they do?

Your delegate will be authorised to perform the following tasks in Online Services on your behalf:

  • Current Housing Solution related actions (e.g., view and select available Service Residences)
  • Modify postal address and contact details
  • Rental Allowance related actions (e.g., Apply for Rental Allowance, complete Rental Allowance Reviews, apply for Rental Allowance Advances)
  • Apply for LIA.

Please note, a delegate does not have the authority to attend an inspection on behalf of a Defence member unless they are also appointed as an agent. If you would like to appoint an agent in your Online Services account, refer to the 'How do I appoint an agent to act on my behalf?' FAQ in the drop down directly above.

 

How to appoint a delegate

You can appoint a delegate through Online Services:

  • Go to 'My Account', 'My Profile' and then 'Manage Delegates'
  • Follow the prompts to enter the relevant contact details*
  • Select ‘Create Delegation’
  • Once created, it will sit in pending status until the delegate responds to the automatic email notification to accept or reject the request.

*Please note, if you are asked to enter a confirmation key, this will be your chosen mix of numbers and/or letters (e.g., 1234). You will need to provide the confirmation key to your nominated delegate for them to use when accepting your request, noting it is case sensitive.

 

Can I remove my appointed delegate?


Yes, you can remove your appointed delegate at any time in your Online Services account. In the ‘Manage Delegates’ section select the bin icon and follow the prompts.

Couldn’t find the answer you were looking for?

If you need to get in contact with us, please submit an enquiry via Online Services. If you have an urgent enquiry, you can call us on 139 342.