Living In

Living in

Everything you need to know about living in a DHA property can be found here.

Right of occupancy

Once you have moved into your home, you cannot transfer the right of occupancy to any other person.

Visitors

You must notify DHA if you intend to have any visitor who is not a recognised dependant reside at the property for a period beyond 28 days.

Change in personal circumstances

If your personal circumstance change, your housing eligibility and contribution may require review. You must immediately notify DHA of any changes to make sure you are paying the correct contribution for your housing entitlement to avoid incurring a debt.

Defence will notify DHA of details to support a review in the following circumstances: 

  • Categorisation change
  • Rank change
  • Period of approved leave without pay

For all other changes that may impact your housing, log in to Online Services and update your details or submit an Online Enquiry.

Extended absences

If you will be away from the property for 30 days or longer, you must notify DHA and provide contact details for a nominated representative. Your representative may need to provide access to the property in the case of inspections or emergencies.

Under your DRA, you must also ensure the property and grounds are maintained during your absence, including regular watering and mowing of lawns and gardens.

Contents insurance provides financial protection against the cost of repairing or replacing personal belongings kept in the property should an event covered by your policy occur.

DHA encourage you to insure your contents. DHA's insurance does not cover loss or damage to your belongings.

If the property is damaged from vandalism or a break-in, you must report the incident to the police and obtain a Police Report Number. You must also report any damage, as soon as possible, to DHA and provide the Police Report Number.

If you do not report the damage, you may be liable for the cost of any repairs when moving out.

If you are living in a complex subject to strata/body corporate regulations you are required to ensure you comply with by-laws, a copy of which can be found in your Online Services.

If your home has common property, maintenance and cleaning is generally the responsibility of the Body Corporate, refer to the by-laws for clarification.

In accordance with your DRA, you must not cause or permit a nuisance, disturbance or annoyance to neighbours. This means anything that interferes with your neighbours' peace and privacy.

Where there is a neighbourhood dispute, we encourage the parties to resolve the matter themselves or refer to the appropriate civil authority.

Throughout your occupancy DHA will need access to your residence to carry out repairs and maintenance work, and inspections of the property. This access is required as per your DRA.

In most instances you will be provided at least seven days’ notice of an upcoming inspection, or a minimum of 72 hours’ notice for urgent matters.

Periodic inspections

We conduct periodic inspections of the property to monitor and maintain the quality of housing we provide. The purpose of the inspection is to identify any maintenance requirements and assess wear-and-tear to the property.

Leased property inspections

The owner of a leased property may require access from time to time. They must first contact DHA, and the inspection will be scheduled for a time that is convenient for both parties.

Property sales and valuation inspections

DHA sells some of its properties to private investors through our Sale and Leaseback Program. If your Service Residence is included in this program, we will notify you and make arrangements for prospective investors to view the property at a mutually convenient time.

You are responsible for keeping your property and grounds clean and tidy as outlined in your DRA. If the property is not being properly maintained, we will notify you and ask that you bring it up to the required standard.

Fair wear-and-tear

We recognise that over time some deterioration will occur due to normal use of the property and ageing. This is called ‘fair wear-and-tear’.

Non-fair wear-and-tear

Any damage caused through mistreatment or neglect, including pet damage, is considered non-fair wear-and- tear and is your responsibility to repair. For further information on your responsibilities for the ongoing condition of the property, refer to the non-fair wear-and-tear matrix in your DRA (Annexure A).

If damage has occurred to the property, your Property Manager can discuss with you how the repairs will be undertaken, the cost of the repairs, and the means of payment.

If you arrange or carry out any work on the property, it must be to the required standard.

Repairs that are not rectified, or to a professional standard, will be identified as a tenant charge on your Tenant Acknowledgement Form (TAF).

Condensation and Mould

Mould related health impacts are uncommon in normal indoor environments; however mould exposure can result in adverse health effects to some individuals. It can also cause damage to the property. Follow these tips for preventing mould:

  • improve ventilation by opening windows and doors whenever possible
  • always use exhaust fans when showering or cooking to extract steam and condensation
  • make sure that clothes and shoes are dry before putting them away in wardrobes
  • allow sunlight into rooms as often as possible
  • wash off any sign of mould growth on walls, ceilings and furniture with a mould cleaning solution
  • report any suspected water leaks promptly to DHA

For more information on mould in your home, refer to Mould | Defence Housing Australia (dha.gov.au)

Maintenance of grounds, lawns and gardens

It is your responsibility to maintain the grounds, lawns and gardens in accordance with your DRA and any by-laws or local council/authority rules that apply.

Water restrictions

When you vacate the property, DHA will use discretion based on local restrictions when discussing occupant charges relating to the care of lawns and gardens.

The status of water restrictions is not a reason for exemption from any tenant charges where it is identified that there has been neglect in the care of lawns and gardens.

You should be aware that:

  • it is your responsibility to obtain the information required in relation to water restriction times
  • in areas under water restrictions, you are required to water during specified hours to keep lawns and gardens alive and well maintained
  • in areas where there are total bans on watering, lawns and gardens are to be kept tidy and you must remove dead litter.

Fire hazards

It is your responsibility to remove any undergrowth that could be a potential fire hazard including dead vegetation and leaves.

Bins and rubbish collection

In most areas local councils supply bins to the property however the maintenance of these bins is your responsibility.

If you need to replace a bin, you should contact the local government authority. Depending on the circumstances, you may be liable for the replacement costs levied by the local government authority.

We also recommend that bins are secured when they are not being emptied.

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

Pest control

The day-to-day control of household pests (cockroaches, spiders, ants etc) is your responsibility.  The presence of a small number of household pests is not regarded as an infestation.

If you identify a significant pest infestation within six weeks of moving into the property, please raise an enquiry in Online Services.

If a local government authority determines a plague movement resulting in a pest infestation, please raise an enquiry in Online Services for assistance.

Preventing termite damage to the property

If you detect termite activity at the property, please report this to DHA immediately.

To prevent termite damage, you should:

  • Ensure any leaking pipes, drains, HWS, gutters or signs of dampness are reported
  • Ensure you keep weep holes clear
  • Do not place temporary garden beds against the property
  • Avoid storing unused timbers and firewood near the property

Your property may be subject to annual pest inspection.

Hazardous material

Hazardous material in your property, including broken, damaged, or disturbed asbestos building material, must be reported immediately to DHA.

If you have any concerns about asbestos materials or other potentially hazardous materials in the property, please contact DHA.

Under the terms of your DRA you must notify us of any damage, defects or deterioration to the property. Early notification will help us to maintain the property in good condition during your occupancy.

For routine maintenance

Refer to Routine maintenance | Defence Housing Australia (dha.gov.au)

For emergency maintenance

Refer to Emergency repairs | Defence Housing Australia (dha.gov.au)

Builders defect liability - new properties

If you have moved into a newly constructed property, it will be subject to a builder's defect liability period (the term of which will be advised by your Property Manager). If any defects arise during this period, you should report these promptly to DHA.

DHA contractors – checking identification

DHA contractors will contact you in advance to arrange an appointment. Before you allow a contractor into the property, we recommend that you ask to see their identification or a copy of the work order.

If you would like to make any changes to the property, including security modifications to locks or installation of other security devices, you must submit an online enquiry to seek approval before any work is carried out.

Installation of swimming pools and spas

Before considering installation of an above-ground swimming pool or spa, and any necessary fencing, you must obtain written approval from DHA and the local council.

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 30cm depth until such approvals are obtained.

NOTE: You will be responsible for returning the property back to its original condition.

For more information, including a step-by-step guide for applying to operate a business from home, refer to Business from home | Defence Housing Australia (dha.gov.au)


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.