The Chintaro Rent Calculator

Modified on Mon, 07 Nov 2022 at 11:58 AM

The Rent Calculator shows Rent details and income details in a format which allows the adjustment of threshold rent and rental assistance, together with whether the various Incomes are to be applied in Rent calculation. The rent calculator is derived from state based Rent Calculator, Chintaro uses the same formulas to calculate Rents.

Use this Solution for if you are in any Australian state other than South Australia.

Opening the Rent Calculator
To open the Rent Calculator, from either the Tenancy screen or the Client Screen, click the  button and the Rent Calculator screen will open:

Rent Calculator Overview

Income Section

The large section at the bottom of the screen contains all of the incomes for the entire household (where there is more than one person earning an income in the Tenancy agreement).

Both assessable and non-assessable incomes will appear in this section. Each income has its own line, and comes from the Client screen. The columns are as follows:

Name: The name of the Client who the income belongs to
Relationship: Either 'Primary' (if they are the Primary Tenant) or another relationship type (EG Wife, Cousin, Friend, etc).

Income Type: The type of income the Client has, and can be either standard Centrelink incomes (EG Newstart Allowance, Aged Pension Single, etc) or Wages/Salary etc. 

Component: The 'Comments' field from the income
Start Date: The Start Date of the income which will appear on their Centrelink Income Statement or their payslips

Amount: The total amount of the weekly income
Rate: The Rate in which the income will be assessed at for the rent calculator (usually 25% in Community Housing)
Assessable: The amount divided by the rate provides the amount of income that is assessable for rent (Amount / Rate = Assessable)
Include: Whether the income is assessable in the rent calculation or not. All Incomes that have the Include box ticked will be included in rent calculation.

Rent Assistance Section

The Rent Assistance Table on the Rent Calculator shows the maximum rent assistance a household will receive, as per their household composition. This is taken from the CRA field (Commonwealth Rent Assistance) on the Client screen:

NOTE: You can select the Rent Assistance from the Rent Assistance table or the Client screen. Selecting on either will default to the other. 

Centrelink Rent Assistance

Centrelink is clear on how the formula for Rent Assistance works:

Depending on household composition, there is a rent threshold that tenants pay.  For every dollar they pay over that threshold, they are entitled to 75c, up to a maximum amount.  The full details can be found at the Centrelink website here:

Rent Assistance - How much you can get - Services Australia 

Optimised Rent Assistance 

Many social housing organisations set rents based on Optimised Rent Assistance

This excerpt, taken from the Community Housing Federation of Australia's (CHFA) "Submission to the interim report from the Welfare Review Taskforce" document of 2014, which can be found here:
117_-_community_housing_federation_of_australia.pdf (

Unlike public housing tenants, community housing tenants are eligible for CRA. 
Since the mid-2000s there has been a widespread shift by community housing providers towards setting rents that are ‘optimised’ for a tenant’s eligibility for CRA. Indeed, adopting this rent structure is a condition of funding contracts with SHAs in the four largest jurisdictions (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia).

For example, see NSW Department of Family and Community Services (2013:15-16) “NSW Affordable Housing Guidelines” NSW Government, Sydney.

Community housing organisations report that ‘optimising’ rents for tenants’ eligibility for CRA increases rental revenue by around 50%.
See Community Housing Peaks Policy Network (2014) “The Vital Subsidy: The importance of Commonwealth Rent Assistance to community housing providers”, Canberra 

Rents are optimised for tenants’ eligibility for CRA by increasing rents to the point where the maximum amount of Rent Assistance can be claimed without leaving a tenant worse off than they would be if they were simply charged 25% of their income. In other words, by charging a higher rent the CHP can ‘capture’ the CRA payment the tenant receives while leaving the tenant in the same after-rent financial position as a public housing tenant on the same income.
This process is explained in McNelis, Sean (2006:50-51) “Rental Systems in Australia and Overseas” Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne

The current use of CRA by community housing providers creates a de facto operational subsidy, much in the same way that the NAHA does for SHAs. Moving to market (or discount to market) rent models would indeed increase providers’ rental income. However, this would be at the expense of affordability for tenants and would serve to force people into greater financial stress, rather than act as a platform to encourage participation in employment or civil society. 

As well, being forced to move tenants to market rents could have implications for providers’ charitable status. CHFA believes that the present rent setting regimes used by community housing providers, coupled with the capacity of many community housing organisations to provide significant levels of non-housing support to their tenants, offers a more effective and sustainable way of achieving the goals of the Welfare Review Taskforce."

MDB cannot advise you on Rent Setting Policy, but would advise you to consult your peak body if you have further questions.

Why is the Rent Assistance Amount Different?

The amount in the calculation may not directly match what the tenant may be presently receiving.

Rent Assistance received by tenants is variable based on their circumstances, for this reason Community Housing Rent Calculators use a combination of the maximum rent assistance tenants are entitled to, the threshold rent amount required to receive that rent assistance and the rent amount required to receive the maximum rent assistance amount. These are then calculated against Market Rent and the Household Income.

Rent Calculation Section

The Rent Calculations section shows:

Out of Pocket: The total amount out of pocket for the Tenant/Household, based on the percentage of assessable income. This is the same figure that appears at the bottom of the income section:

Threshold Rent: The threshold amount set by Centrelink, which is drawn from the Rent Assistance section of the calculator.

Rent Assistance: The total amount of Rent Assistance the household is entitled to, which is calculated from the Rent Assistance section of the calculator:

Market Rent: The Market Rent of the Room that the Tenant resides, taken from the Rent Record of the Tenancy:

Maximum % of Market Rent: Used in rent calculations, where a percentage of Market Rent is required (EG 74.99% of Market Rent)

Service Fee: This field is only used to appear on the Printed record. As such, Service fee will not affect the Rent Payable amount.

Rent Payable: The final figure of the Rent Calculation provides you with the amount of rent payable for the household each week. This figure is a total of the % Weekly Income + the Rent Assistance figures.

Subsidy: The difference between the Market Rent and the rent payable.
EG: Market Rent $400

minus Rent Payable $150.28

equals Subsidy $249.73. 

Applying the Rent Calculation in a Rent Review
When you are happy with the figures and you are ready to apply the Rent Review, click 'Copy to New Rent'. This will populate the Rent Review screen with the Rent Payable figure, and will require you to apply this rent at a specified effective date. Click this link to see how to apply a Tenancy Rent Review as at an effective date.

Printing the Rent Calculation
Clicking on the Print button will print this Screen directly to your default printer.    

What to do if you are unsure about the amounts in the Rent Assistance Table

The calculation regarding the amount of the Rent Assistance a Tenancy will receive has been provided to Chintaro by Centrelink. If you believe this figure is wrong, please contact your Centrelink representative.

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