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Buying your rental home

Information for Queensland public housing tenants

The Queensland Government encourages tenants to become home owners.

The Sales to Tenants program gives public housing tenants the chance to buy the department-owned home they rent if it’s for sale.

If you’re a public housing tenant thinking about buying your rental home, this information outlines issues to consider before making your decision.

Deciding whether to buy

Can you afford to buy?

When you buy a home, you’re getting an asset that could provide security for your future.

However, owning a home is different than renting. You have to pay rates, maintenance and insurance and loan repayments. These costs could be more than your current rent.

Is your rental home for sale?

Some rental homes may not be for sale.

Homes that are generally not for sale include:

  • those in high-demand areas, especially inner-city suburbs
  • those on sites that could be redeveloped in the future
  • townhouses, units, duplexes and cluster houses
  • homes that are less than 10 years old
  • homes that have been modified or adapted to meet the needs of people with a disability.

Are you eligible to buy your rental home?

You may be able to buy the home you’re renting if you meet the following conditions.

You and any other person applying must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • be the tenant of the property
  • have lived in your rental home for at least 3 months
  • have a good rent payment history with no ongoing record of late payments or arrears
  • not own any other house in Queensland or elsewhere
  • intend to live in the home and not use it for any other purpose.

Purchase price of your rental home

We aren’t able to tell you the purchase price until after you apply to purchase the property and pay the administration fee.

First we need to determine whether the property is for sale and then obtain a valuation. It take us up to 2 weeks to determine if the property is available for sale.

We refund your administration fee if we find out your rental home isn’t for sale.

If the home is for sale

If your rental home is available for sale, we have an independent valuer inspect the home to determine a fair market value, and give you an offer in writing.

You then have 1 month to accept our offer to sell you the home.

Improvements

If you’ve made any major improvements to the property, such as a carport, you need to have approval from us and the local Council if required.

The valuer assesses the value of these improvements and adjusts the sale price.

Note: Not all improvements increase the value of a property.

Previous rent

The amount of rent you’ve paid during your tenancy doesn’t affect the sale price.

Finance

You need to decide how to finance your purchase in a way that’s best for you. Learn more about getting finance.

Lender requirements

If you’re borrowing money to buy your rental home, your lender usually needs your savings history and a deposit.

The amount of deposit you need will depend on various factors, including the:

  • price of the home
  • amount you can borrow
  • lender you borrow from.

Most lenders ask you to pay a deposit of 5–20% of the purchase price.

Queensland Government loans

We offer a range of home loans, including loans for our tenants who are buying their rental property.

For more information, see:

For details, call the Department of Housing and Public Works’ Information Hotline on 1300 654 322.

Indigenous Business Australia loans

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may be eligible to access home loans from Indigenous Business Australia. Contact Indigenous Business Australia on 1800 107 107.

If you’re a client in the Torres Strait region, contact the Torres Strait Regional Authority on 1800 079 093.

Deciding to keep renting

Some people find that they’re financially better off renting. You need to decide the best option for your circumstances.

You are under no obligation to buy your current rental home. If you choose not to buy it, your rental agreement continues as usual.

More information

To find out more, call our Sales to Tenants unit on (07) 3007 4241.