We charge income-related rent to tenants on low incomes. If your income is below a set amount, your rent will be no more than 25 percent of your income. If your income is above the set amount, the most you would pay for your house is the market rent.
If you don't receive any income, the income-related rent will be charged at a minimum amount, based on the make-up of your household.
Income-related rent is one way the government helps people on low incomes with the cost of housing. The government pays the difference between the rent you pay, and the market rent (which is what you would pay for a similar house in a similar area if renting from a private landlord).
It is very important that you let us know if your income or circumstances change, as any kind of fraud or false declaration regarding your income-related rent may result in a debt to the Crown.
Please note: income-related rent is not available to community groups.
Defining low income
If you are single and don't have dependent children, and your income is less than the single living alone rate of New Zealand Superannuation (after tax), your income is considered low. For other tenants, you have low income if it is less than the married couple rate of New Zealand Superannuation (after tax). New Zealand Superannuation amounts are re-set each year on 1 April.
Working out your rent
Income-related rent is based on your income and, if you have a partner, their income. This includes Family Support, StudyLink payments and some boarder contributions.
Your rent will be based on your income when you accept a house offered to you.
After that, you need to apply for income-related rent every year, or any time your circumstances change. It is very important you let us know as soon as your circumstances change, as that may affect the rent you pay.
How we calculate your rent
Tenants with income lower than the rate of New Zealand Super may be eligible for income-related rent. If you qualify and you live alone, your weekly rent will be 25 percent of your net (take-home) income up to the New Zealand Super rate. If you earn more than this, 50 percent of your net income that is above the Super rate will be included as rent. You cannot be charged more than the market rent for the property.
For all other households, income-related rent is 25 percent of your household's net income up to the married New Zealand Super rate. If you earn over this, 50 percent of your net income above the married Super rate will be included as rent. You cannot be charged more than the market rent for the property.
How to apply for income-related rent
You will need to provide income statements for you and your partner, if you have one, for the past 52 weeks. These should include:
- Work and Income payments (call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 to ask for a printout)
- salary and wages (we'll give you a form that you need to ask your employer or insurer to complete)
- StudyLink payments (call StudyLink on 0800 889 900 or Deaf Link free fax 0800 621 621 to ask for a statement)
- proof of accident compensation payments (ask your ACC case manager for an annual statement of your payments)
- self-employment or partnership income, such as your latest annual accounts
- Government Superannuation Fund payments or National Provident Fund payments.
We also need information about savings, investments and other sources of regular income like payments from boarders, flatmates or adult children.
If you need help filling out the income-related rent application, let us know.
If you circumstances have changed or you want to apply for income related rent please call us on 0800 801 601 and we will send you a form to complete.
If you disagree with our decision about your rent, talk to a housing advisor on 0800 801 601. They may be able to quickly solve the problem, or explain why the decision was made.
If you still disagree, you can ask the Housing New Zealand Review Office to review the decision. To do this, call us on 0800 801 601 or send a letter to your local Housing New Zealand office. If you're not satisfied with that outcome, you can take the matter to the State Housing Appeals Authority.