Rent Deduction Scheme
A free service to pay state or territory housing authority rent through regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.
You can apply for the Rent Deduction Scheme if you receive a regular Centrelink payment and you rent the place you live in from a state or territory housing authority.
When you apply, your housing authority sends us a request to deduct rent from your Centrelink payment. We will update your customer record with the deduction amount.
You must continue to pay your rent until you receive a letter from us. The letter will tell you when your nominated deduction amount will start.
We will then take your rent from your Centrelink payment each payday and send it by electronic transfer to your housing authority along with details about the deduction.
If we are not able to deduct the full amount
Sometimes, we are not able to deduct the full amount requested. This may happen if your Centrelink payment:
- is reduced because of your income or earnings
- has been suspended, or
- is reduced because other deductions have been made, such as payment of advances, leaving you without enough Centrelink payment to cover your rent deduction
If this happens, you will need to contact your housing authority to make arrangements to pay the rest of your rent.
If Centrelink payments are cancelled
We are also not able to deduct the rent if your Centrelink payments are cancelled. If this occurs you will need to make other arrangements to pay your rent.
If your payment recommences within 13 weeks, your rent deduction will automatically resume from your next payday. If it has been more than 13 weeks, you will need to contact your housing authority to restart your deduction using the scheme.
If you have missed any rent payments while your payment was cancelled, you should contact your housing authority.
Moving between payments
If you move from one Centrelink payment to another; for example, from Parenting Payment to Newstart Allowance, your deduction may continue without you having to do anything.
Ask us about your Rent Deduction Scheme deduction when your new payment starts.
We provide the scheme in partnership with state and territory housing authorities. Once you are part of the scheme, your rent is automatically deducted from your Centrelink payments and paid directly to your housing authority.
To apply for the Rent Deduction Scheme, you need to contact or visit your local housing authority office and complete a deduction form.
Managing your deduction
If the amount of your rent changes, the housing authority will advise us of the new amount. We will adjust your deduction to the new amount from your next payday and send you a letter advising you of the change.
You can choose to stop rent deductions.
You should discuss your request to stop using the scheme with your housing authority before you cancel the deduction. This allows you to make other arrangements to pay rent to ensure you do not miss payments, which may lead to rental arrears or possible eviction.
You can cancel your deduction by:
We will send you a confirmation letter when your deduction is cancelled. We will also advise your housing authority.
Centrepay is a free voluntary bill paying service we offer for customers receiving Centrelink payments.
You can use Centrepay in addition to having your rent deducted from your Centrelink payment through the Rent Deduction Scheme.
You can have a regular amount deducted to pay for other bills and services including private rent, electricity, gas, water, child care and telephone.
Read more about Centrepay.
Select the options that describe your circumstances then explore a suggested list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
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