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Head Lease Program

Reduce your rental management workload without reducing your revenue.

We are looking to partner with real estate agents and private rental providers to make properties available for sub-lease to our clients who have been approved for social housing.

Take advantage of these great benefits

There are numerous excellent benefits for real estate agents or rental providers who sign up to our Head Lease Program.

These include:

  • Peace of mind that the rent will be paid on-time, every month. Talk to us about our rent payment in advance options.
  • Assurance that any renter-related maintenance liability will be covered by us.
  • The opportunity to support people in need with a safe home.
  • The knowledge that we will manage all communication with the client so that you need only deal with one organisation.

Many of our clients have, through no fault of their own, found themselves unable to afford the high costs associated with securing a private rental and have sought our support to find and keep a place to call home.

If you would like to be part of our Head Lease Program, please email and we will contact you to discuss the opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Head leasing refers to properties that Haven; Home, Safe (HHS) lease in the private rental market and then sub-lease to clients that have been approved for social housing.

Government funded head leasing arrangements provide HHS with the opportunity to house clients where the demand for housing exceeds the availability of HHS owned stock.

Under a head lease arrangement, there are two active leases in place:

  • One lease is between HHS and the private landlord/Real Estate agent, and;
  • the other lease is between the HHS and the client.

The Residential Tenancies Act applies to both leases.

Often a private landlord/real estate agent will allocate a property to the applicant with the best references or income at the time. However, as we know, there are many unforeseen hardships life can throw at us which can impact a renters ability to pay their rent or sustain their tenancy after it has begun, such as a family separation, divorce, change or loss of employment, an injury etc.

Head leasing offers the landlord assurance that they are working with a fully-funded organisation to guarantee for the entire tenancy:

  • security of rental payments;
  • a defined rental period;
  • that the property be returned in the condition in which it was originally leased, apart from fair wear and tear; and
  • the client living in the property receives support for the entire length of the lease, to ensure a smooth transition at the end of the tenancy.

Head leasing provides a way for HHS to house additional clients, which exceed our current stock availability, without having the immediate and large overhead of purchasing properties. Head leasing is funded by government which allows HHS to subsidise the rent payable for the client, whilst ensuring the private landlord is not out-of-pocket. 

Generally the type of properties we head lease are:

  • Of the standard and condition that is appropriate to social housing renters in accordance with the RTA; and
  • Able to meet the needs of our renters, including any special needs.

Any client we approve to sub-lease to is subject to eligibility criteria and is tenancy managed by our own internal housing management team.

Clients in our head leasing program are ensured access to additional support services for the duration of their sub-lease tenancy, for any additional needs they may have to support their personal development, and subsequently, their housing outcomes.

As the legal renter, HHS takes responsibility for all renter-related matters. We work closely with the rental provider and/or private property owner, our client and any support provision they require, to ensure a smooth tenancy for clients moving in/out and during the rental agreement of any private rental property we lease.

While all care is taken to ensure a client’s tenancy is successful, we recognise that sometimes a tenancy may be disrupted due to any number of circumstances. We will work with the client to resolve any issues that arise (such as, relationship breakdown, change of employment or income, mental health issues, financial issues, etc) to avoid any impact on their tenancy. Our internal tenancy team will work with the appropriate services to ensure the client has access to the support they require to sustain their tenancy.

Should a tenancy be impacted by anything further than reasonable wear and tear, we, as the legal renter from the real estate agency, take full responsibility of our client’s use of the property and guarantee that the property will be restored to its original condition, per the entry condition report. Any cost incurred by HHS, as a result of the client’s negligence, will be managed internally between the client and HHS.

The lease HHS signs with the real estate agent/private property owner will always contain a clause that grants consent for HHS to sub-lease the property for the duration of the lease.

When a client is housed in a head leased property, HHS will explain the implications of renting a head leased property, including that the client:

  • may have to move to another dwelling, or take up a private lease, when the head lease term expires;
  • may be charged the cost to repair any damage caused deliberately or negligently;
  • will not be permitted to make any additions or alterations to the property without consent from the real estate agent/private property owner.

During a head lease agreement, the owner is responsible for general repairs and maintenance of the property.  Any requests for maintenance or repairs will go through to the relevant owner or real estate agent.

Prior to the end of the fixed term head lease agreement, HHS will serve the private property owner/real estate agent AND the client with appropriate notice that the fixed term lease is ending. HHS will cease renting the property at the end of the agreement.

If the client wishes to take over the lease agreement, they will be required to make an application to rent the property in their own name by applying directly to the private landlord/real estate agent for permission.

If the client does not wish to remain in the property, or their application to rent in their own name is unsuccessful, they will be supported by HHS and their support network to relocate to alternative accommodation and vacate the premises before the lease expiry date.

“We would like to thank you for the work you do for all of the women and families that pass through your doors. A big thank you for making our new tenants application process easy and trouble free.”
The Property Management Team at Harcourts North Geelong.