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homes out west - Tenancy Guarantees

Tenancy Guarantees:

•    A Tenancy Guarantee is a Housing NSW product issued by Homes Out West.  
•    The Tenancy Guarantee is a way to encourage landlords/agents to accept you as a tenant.
•    This product may be helpful to you if you are having difficulties accessing private rental
      properties due to:
      - A lack of rental references
      - Low income
      - Poor tenancy history
      - Discrimination or other factors.

Information for Landlords and Agents
PDF file 1.73mb

Information for Referral Agencies
PDF File 48kb

What is a Tenancy Guarantee?

A Tenancy Guarantees is a product designed to encourage private sector landlords and agents to rent properties to people who are having difficulty entering the private rental market even though they have the income and skills to sustain a successful tenancy.

A Tenancy Guarantee of up to $1000 (including GST) is available to landlords/agents to cover rental arrears and or property damage over and above the rental bond.  The Tenancy Guarantee is valid for a fixed-term period of the tenancy agreement for up to 12 months, or until the tenancy is terminated, whichever is sooner.

Tenancy Guarantees are issued by Housing NSW and selected Community Housing providers such as Homes Out West.

Applicants are assessed as to their suitability for Tenancy Guarantee. If the application is successful and the applicant is deemed as being suitable they must agree to pay back any money to HNSW if the tenancy breaks down and a claim is made on the Tenancy Guarantee for rent arrears/ damages/cleaning etc.

Why is a Tenancy Guarantee needed?

The Tenancy Guarantee offers an incentive and added security for landlords and agents to accept people they might otherwise refuse as tenants.  The Tenancy Guarantee is only intended to supplement the rental bond for the initial fixed term period of the lease.

The Tenancy Guarantee also helps tenants build successful tenancy history, thus reducing or eliminating the disadvantages they previously experienced when trying to access the private rental market.

Who can apply for a Tenancy Guarantee?

The target group for the Tenancy Guarantee is people who:

•    Are eligible for social housing (that is public or community housing) in NSW
•    Are seeking and have been denied access to the private rental market
•    Are able to afford to rent in the private rental market and
•    Are assessed as being able to sustain a private sector tenancy.

They may be:

•    People without a tenancy history or references
•    People with a negative tenancy record whose situation has changed so that they are now
      likely to sustain a successful tenancy
•    People receiving government benefits or living on limited incomes
•    Young people leaving home
•    People leaving violent or abusive situations
•    New migrants or refugees with permanent residency
•    Temporary Protection Visa holders
•    People with a history of mental illness
•    People from different social and cultural backgrounds.

Eligibility Criteria

To be offered a Tenancy Guarantee, you must:

•    Meet Housing NSW income eligibility criteria
•    Have already looked for private rental accommodation without success
•    Be assessed as able to afford private rental
•    Be assessed as able to sustain private rental
•    Not have a debt from a previous Tenancy Guarantee
•    Not have a current Tenancy Guarantee
•    Have agreed to the conditions for receiving a Tenancy Guarantee
•    Agree to repay the Tenancy Guarantee if there is a claim made

What properties are eligible?

The Tenancy Guarantee only applies to agreements or premises that are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act.  Please refer to section 6 and 7 of the Act.

Information for Tenancy Guarantee Applicants

How to apply for a Tenancy Guarantee

Step 1 – Complete a Tenancy Guarantee Application Form

This form can be collected from you Homes Out West office in Albury or Deniliquin or from this website.  If you require help to fill out the form, please do not hesitate to ask our Housing Workers for assistance.  Homes Out West recognises that some people experience difficulties with reading and/or writing and this can be a barrier to applying for rental properties.  Please advise the Housing Worker if you have difficulties so they can ensure that appropriate assistance is provided to help you to secure a rental property.

You will need to supply details about:
• Income
• What you’ve already done to find a private rental property
• Your rental history
• Information about anyone else who will be living with you

Step 2 – Make an appointment with Homes Out West for a Tenancy Guarantee assessment

Contact Homes Out West to arrange a suitable time for an appointment.
This appointment should take approximately 30 – 45 minutes and to assess your eligibility. 
The Housing Worker will look for things like:

• What you have already done to try and find a private rental property
• Whether you can afford to rent in the private market
• Whether you can look after a property
• The maximum amount of rent you can afford to pay

Once assessed by the Housing Worker the Tenancy Guarantee needs to be registered on the Housing NSW database. This process takes up to 48 hours and Homes Out West will advise you of the outcome.

If the Tenancy Guarantee is declined, the Housing Worker will provide you with the reasons why and make appropriate referrals if necessary. If you disagree with the decision, please advise us. Homes Out West respect your rights to speak out about decisions that affect you. We will provide you with information of your rights and how to appeal both internally and externally.

Step 3 – Sign up for your Tenancy Guarantee

If you are approved to receive a Tenancy Guarantee, you will be required to attend another appointment (taking 15 – 30 minutes) to authorise and be given the documents that you will need to support your application for a rental property, this includes:

• A Tenancy Guarantee Offer letter
• Information about the Tenancy Guarantee to give to the agent or landlord
• The Landlord/Agent’s Acceptance of Tenancy Guarantee form which the agent or  
   landlord must complete and return to Homes Out West
• Information about your rights and responsibilities when entering into a lease   
  (Residential Tenancy Agreement)
• Details of real estate agents to approach

Using your Tenancy Guarantee

Now you can go and apply for private rental properties with Real Estate Agents and landlords informing them that you have been assessed as suitable for Tenancy Guarantee and leaving a copy of your Tenancy Guarantee Offer letter and other documentation  with your rental application.

A real estate agent or landlord may still decline your application, but do keep trying as your determination to find a rental property will usually result in success.

A Tenancy Guarantee is valid for a 6 week period and can be extended, if deemed necessary. Please discuss with the Housing Worker if you are receiving excessive rejections for a rental property.

Suitable properties must be within the maximum affordable rent set for the Tenancy Guarantee and be covered by a lease (Residential Tenancy Agreement).

What to do if you are successful in securing a rental property

If you are successful in being offered a rental property by a Real Estate or Landlord you will need to sign up to a lease (Residential Tenancy Agreement), pay the bond and rent in advance.

Assistance with the Bond can be sort from Housing NSW Rent Start link below.

Remember that a lease (Residential Tenancy Agreement) is a legally binding document and by signing it you are agreeing to the conditions within.  It is important that you give your informed consent.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Part of the Residential Tenancy Agreement is the Property Condition Report (Part 2). Take your time completing this important document as this is your record of the condition of the property at the time you move in and the document that is referred to when you eventually move out. If you require more space to write details about the property, use an additional piece of paper, be sure to sign and date and return to the agent within the time period stated (usually14 days).

Activating the Tenancy Guarantee

To start the Tenancy Guarantee, the agent or landlord must return three documents to Homes Out West before the Tenancy Guarantee can be activated. These are:

• The authorised  Landlord/Agent’s Acceptance of Tenancy Guarantee form
• A copy of the signed lease (Residential Tenancy Agreement)
• A copy of the signed property condition report

Maintaining your tenancy during the Tenancy Guarantee

Keep your rent payments up-to-date.  If you have any issues during your tenancy, you should talk to your agent/landlord and Homes Out West as soon as the issue arises as it is in everyone’s best interest (particularly yours) for your tenancy to be successful.  Early intervention can often resolve issues before they become a problem.

Don’t stop paying rent even if an agent/landlord refuses to carry out repairs or maintenance.  Contact South West Tenants Advice  http://www.tenantsadvice.websyte.com.au
or Homes Out West if you feel that the agent / landlord is not upholding their end of the agreement.

It’s a good idea to make a note of any discussions that your have with your agent/landlord and to keep any correspondence you receive from them.

Homes Out West may contact you and your agent/landlord from time-to-time to make sure everything is going well. Remember that we are here to assist you and your rights and confidentiality are important to us.

What happens at the end of the Tenancy Guarantee period?

If everything is going okay with your tenancy then the Tenancy Guarantee lapses and you have shown that you can have a successful tenancy and should be able to obtain a rental reference if you require one in the future.  Homes Out West will send you a letter stating that no claim was made against the Tenancy Guarantee.  A letter will also be sent to the landlord.


You can get more information about the Tenancy Guarantee Here or from one of
Homes Out West’s offices.