Bringing the light of Christ into communities

Tenant information

Churches of Christ Housing Services aims to ensure all tenants have access to key information regarding their tenancy.

This page contains key documents and information regarding maintenance, rent, behaviour and visitors, as well as links to further documentation to assist you.

 

Key documents

 

Requesting maintenance

How do I report the need for a repair?

You should always notify Churches of Christ Housing Services of any maintenance issues at your property.

We can be contacted during business hours to report maintenance issues and after hours for emergency maintenance.

These details are provided at the start of your tenancy in the Tenancy Entry Information Kit.

For additional contact details, please visit our Contact Us page by clicking here.

When will someone attend to my repair request?

We will respond to maintenance requests in order of urgency from when you report the problem.

The following are examples of typical maintenance priorities and target response times:

Emergency repairs – 1 hour response

Emergency repairs are required for faults or damage which may put people’s lives, health or safety at risk, such as:

  • gas leaks
  • exposed live electrical wires in an accessible location
  • seniors or other vulnerable tenants being locked out of their home during night time hours
  • burst pipes within the building.

Please remember that in an emergency, such as fire, your first response should be to dial 000 or contact the relevant emergency service. Once you have alerted emergency services, you should then make contact with your local Churches of Christ Housing Services office.

All tenants have been provided with a Contacts fridge magnet that provides a quick reference to emergency numbers.

Urgent repairs – 4 hour response

Urgent repairs are required for any fault which could endanger health or result in extensive damage to the property, such as:

  • building being insecure after forced entry
  • no lights or power
  • serious water penetration
  • serious storm damage
  • burst water pipes outside the building
  • fully blocked sewerage (health hazard)
  • stove not working
  • seniors or other vulnerable tenants being locked out during daylight hours
  • smoke alarm not working
  • major structural damage endangering the occupants.

Priority repairs – 24 hour response

Priority repairs are required for any faults that cause serious inconvenience to the client, such as:

  • blocked drains (minor, no health hazard)
  • toilet cistern not working or overflowing
  • broken locks (external doors)
  • insecure yard (fence damage greater than 125mm wide)
  • broken windows
  • no hot water
  • no power to multiple power points
  • no power to multiple lights
  • security lights not working.

If the maintenance is urgent or a priority we may not be able to adhere to the normal 24-hour Entry Notice period.

Routine repairs – 14 day response

Routine repairs are required for any faults which cause inconvenience or may, in the long term, affect the value of the property, such as:

  • slow dripping taps
  • element not working on stove
  • water hammer
  • doors jamming
  • uneven hard paving (trip hazards)
  • trees which need lopping (not dangerous)
  • leaking gutters or downpipes
  • power and lights not working (single points)
  • faulty internal door locks.

Newly built properties

If you move into a newly built property there is usually a warranty period of 12 months – known as the Defects Liability Period – during which time the builder will repair any defects in the building.

If you detect a problem, please report them promptly so that we may bring the issue to the builder’s attention.

After-hours service

Churches of Christ Housing Services offers tenants an after-hours service for emergency  issues.

For assistance with emergencies, which are repairs or other situations that cannot wait until the next business day, you should call our After Hours Service number, details of which are provided in your Tenant Entry Information Kit.

Maintenance that is not an emergency should be reported the next working day.

For further information, please download our Maintenance Information Sheet by clicking here.

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Applying for a transfer

You can apply for a transfer to another property if you can demonstrate that your current home is no longer appropriate to meet your housing need.

To be considered you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • your safety is at risk
  • you need to live in a particular location in order to access essential services, secure yo employment, meet cultural obligations, to gain access to your children or for family/informal support
  • the design and/or size of your current housing does not meet your household’s needs.

In addition, it is expected that your rent payments will be up-to-date and that your current home has been kept in good condition.

To apply for a transfer, please download the Transfer Application Form by clicking here. Complete the form, attach the necessary evidence to support your transfer request and submit it to your local Churches of Christ Housing Servcies office.

We will advise you on the outcome of your application in writing or will contact you for further information if required.

If you are approved for a transfer you must list six locations (suburbs, towns or cities) of your choice, except where you have a demonstrated the need to live in a particular location. We will attempt to identify a suitable property within our housing portfolio to transfer you to.

If a suitable property is not available, we will attempt to initiate the transfer with another housing provider or via the Department of Housing and Public Works.

For further information on the transfer process, please download our Applying for a Transfer Information Sheet by clicking here.

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Ongoing eligibility

As part of the rent review process, you are required to provide details of your current household income to Churches of Christ Housing Services, regardless of the property you occupy.

This information is also used to assess your ongoing eligibility for housing assistance as determined by the Queensland Government’s Ongoing Eligibility Criteria.

If you are no longer eligible for housing assistance due to a change in your circumstances, we will work with you to support your transition to an alternative, more appropriate housing option such as a National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) property or private rental.

We may need to serve you with a Notice to Leave in order to formalise this process.

For further information about the process, please download our Rent and Eligibility Review Information Sheet by clicking here.

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Paying my rent 

Churches of Christ Housing Services offers various rent payment methods including Centrepay Deductions, deposit books and internet banking or direct transfer. Please contact us at any of our offices for payment method details and set up.

Centrepay Deductions

Regular payments can be automatically deducted from your Centrelink benefits using Centrepay Deductions. This option provides convenience and security at no extra cost to you.

You can complete a Centrepay Deductions form, which we can forward to Centrelink on your behalf, or you can arrange deductions directly with Centrelink. You will require our service Centrelink Reference Number to arrange a deduction.

Deposit books

Deposit books can be provided for regular over the counter bank deposits. They are pre-printed with a unique reference number and our bank details.

Deposit books can only be used at a Westpac Bank branch and need to be re-ordered when they run out.

Internet banking and direct transfers

Internet banking or other direct transfer options are available to you from your own bank. Generally with internet banking options you can set up a transfer to reoccur when required.

Some banks also provide automatic transfers, which can be set up from a bank or over the phone. These types of transactions can sometimes incur a fee, so please check with your individual institution.

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How my rent is calculated

As a Churches of Christ Housing Services tenant, you are required to pay rent for your home, along with a rental bond and, in some instances, an amenity charge.

Charges may vary according to the specific type of housing provided, your income or your individual circumstances. All fees are calculated in accordance with our rent policy.

If you are in one of the following housing programs, your rent has been calculated based on 25% of your gross assessable household income or capped at the market rent value for the property, whichever is less, including Commonwealth Rent Assistance:

  • Crisis Accommodation
  • Community-Managed Studio Units
  • Community Rent Scheme
  • Long-term Community Housing.

If your property is furnished, an additional 3% has been charged to cover maintenance and  replacement of furniture and appliances.

If you are in our Affordable Housing Program, rents are based on a discount of the market rent for the property.  Rents are capped at 74.9% of the market rate and will be no more than 30% of your gross income, plus Commonwealth Rent Assistance, to ensure it is affordable.

You will be provided with a rent assessment report to demonstrate the income that has been assessed as part of your review and how your rent is calculated.

Rent assistance

Community Housing tenants who receive a Centrelink benefit are eligible to receive Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

The amount of rent assistance you receive is calculated by Centrelink based on the amount of rent you pay.

It is your responsibility to advise Centrelink of your updated rent amount.

To receive rent assistance, you must supply Centrelink with a rent statement or other evidence of your rent amount.

Public housing tenants are not eligible for this payment.

Whether you rent in community housing or in the private market, you do not get to keep your rent assistance payment – it goes towards your rent.

For further information, please download our Rent Assessment Information Sheet by clicking here.

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Managing rent arrears

If you have problems paying your rent, you should contact Churches of Christ Housing Services as soon as possible as any delay could seriously affect the way we are able to help you.

We are sympathetic to anyone who is having difficulty paying their rent and will try to help you as much as we can.

We treat each enquiry with courtesy and understanding, and all information is treated with the strictest confidence.

Your Housing Officer can either visit you at home, or meet with you at your local Churches of Christ Housing Services office.

They will discuss your arrears situation and depending on your circumstances, set up a realistic repayment plan.

If you do not pay your rent, we will pursue a firm but fair approach to the recovery of rent arrears.

We have a series of steps to follow when tenants do not pay their rent on time, including:

  • a phone call or reminder letter to bring to your attention that the rent has not been paid
  • issuing you with a Notice to Remedy Breach if your rent is more than eight days overdue. If you receive a Notice you should contact your Housing Officer immediately to discuss your situation and arrange a repayment plan
  • issuing you with a Notice to Leave due to the level of your debt if your rental arrears are not paid in a further seven days, even where a payment plan is in place,
  • applying for a Warrant of Possession from the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal if you still have rent arrears outstanding when the Notice to Leave expiry date has passed. If you have a payment plan in place and are making repayments then action on the warrant will be postponed. The warrant will be cancelled once the arrears have been cleared and you are maintaining your rent payments in accordance with your lease agreement.
  • immediately executing the Warrant to end your tenancy if you do not have a repayment plan or are not maintaining the repayment plan.

Remember, we are here to help you.

The earlier we know about a problem, the easier it will be for us to help you solve it.

For further information, please download our Rent Arrears Information Sheet by clicking here.

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Getting help with my debts

If you have difficulty in paying any debts, we can offer confidential help and advice.

It is important to try to deal with debts before they become more serious or get out of hand.

A number of organisations offer confidential information and advice on dealing with debt.

For further information about these organsiations, please download the Money Smart Guide, Dealing with Debt, by clicking here.

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Being a good neighbour

  • Keep noise, in or near your home, to a minimum, particularly between 10pm and 7am. Do not slam doors, sound car horns or shout. You should always try to be considerate outside of these times.
  • If you have a dog, always clear up any mess it makes and try to make sure it does not bark excessively.
  • Talk to your children about how their playing habits and behaviour might affect your neighbours.
  • Control the volume on televisions, radios and so on. Do not put these systems against shared walls. Place them on a rubber mat or carpet.
  • Let your neighbours know when you are going to do something particularly noisy such as maintenance activities or having a party.
  • Tell visitors not to slam communal doors.
  • Never leave external doors open or use the Fire Doors to enter or leave the building.
  • Never let anybody into the building if you do not know who they are.
  • Always report anything suspicious to the Police.
  • Always lock your door and look after your keys.
  • Be aware of how easily noise can travel in a unit property.

For further information about courteous behaviour, please download our Good Neighbour Information Sheet by clicking here

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Visitors

Churches of Christ Housing Services encourages all tenants to maintain friendships and connections with the wider community, but you are responsible for the behaviour of your guests and you must ensure they also comply with your lease agreement when they enter the premises.

There are a number of other rules that also apply to tenants in regards to visitors and these can be found in your Tenant Handbook.

For example, visitors are not permitted to park in the car spaces provided for the use of other tenants. They will need to park on the street or in car parks set aside for visitors.

For further information about visitors, please download our Tenant Handbook by clicking here.

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