PUBLIC housing tenants have been given a two-month amnesty to declare unauthorised occupants or risk being charged back rent for them.
Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward has also set up a ‘dob in’ line to encourage reporting of undeclared occupants.
Public housing tenants pay rent based on their household income. If tenants are not declaring additional occupants, they are paying less than the correct amount of rent.
“The NSW Government is giving tenants two months to declare all additional occupants,” said Ms Goward.
“Tenants who do the right thing and declare additional occupants will have their rent adjusted from the date of declaration, and will not be charged back rent.
“However, tenants with undeclared occupants who do not take advantage of the amnesty will forfeit protection offered under the amnesty and risk being charged back rent.”
Tenants who don’t declare extra occupants and are caught risk having to repay thousands of dollars and the possibility of eviction.
The move comes following random checks of 106 Housing NSW properties late last year, which found that in 14 cases there was evidence of undeclared occupants.
Tenants can submit their declarations of additional occupants online at www.housing.nsw.gov.au.
People can also provide a report to the ‘dob in’ line on 1300 468 746, which will be open 24/7.
The amnesty will run from January 21 to March 17.