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SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 1991 - SECT 5A

Single person sharing accommodation

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, a person is to be treated as a single person sharing accommodation if the person:

                     (a)  is not a member of a couple; and

                     (b)  has no dependent children; and

                     (c)  has, in common with one or more other people, the right to use at least one major area of accommodation.

             (2)  A person is not to be treated as a single person sharing accommodation if the person:

                     (a)  pays, or is liable to pay, amounts for the person's board and lodging; or

                   (ab)  is residing in exempt accommodation (see subsections (5A), (5B) and (5C)); or

                     (b)  is the recipient of a disability support pension or a carer pension; or

                     (c)  is residing in a nursing home.

             (3)  A person who has the exclusive right to use a bathroom, a kitchen and a bedroom is not to be treated as a single person sharing accommodation solely because the person has the right, in common with one or more other people, to use other major areas of accommodation.

             (4)  A person is not to be treated as a single person sharing accommodation solely because the person shares accommodation with one or more recipient children of the person.

             (5)  If:

                     (a)  a person lives alone in a caravan or mobile home, or on board a vessel; or

                     (b)  a person shares accommodation in a caravan, mobile home or vessel solely with one or more recipient children of the person;

the person is not to be treated as a single person sharing accommodation solely because the person has the right, in common with one or more other people, to use one or more major areas of accommodation in a caravan park or marina.

          (5A)  A person's accommodation is exempt accommodation if it is in premises that are, in the Secretary's opinion, a boarding house, guest house, hostel, hotel, private hotel, rooming house, lodging house or similar premises.

          (5B)  In forming an opinion about a person's accommodation for the purposes of subsection (5A), the Secretary is to have regard to the characteristics of the accommodation including, in particular, whether or not the following are characteristics of the accommodation:

                     (a)  the premises are known as a boarding house, guest house, hostel, hotel, private hotel, rooming house, lodging house or similar premises;

                     (b)  a manager or administrator (other than a real estate agent) is retained to manage the premises or administer the accommodation on a daily or other frequent regular basis;

                     (c)  staff are retained by the proprietor or manager of the premises to work in the premises on a daily or other frequent regular basis;

                     (d)  the residents lack control over the day-to-day management of the premises;

                     (e)  there are house rules, imposed by the proprietor or manager, that result in residents having rights that are more limited than those normally enjoyed by a lessee of private residential accommodation (for example, rules limiting the hours of residents' access to their accommodation or limiting residents' access to cooking facilities in the premises);

                      (f)  the person does not have obligations to pay for his or her costs of gas, water or electricity separately from the cost of the accommodation;

                     (g)  the accommodation is not private residential accommodation, having regard to:

                              (i)  the number and nature of bedrooms in the premises; or

                             (ii)  the number of people who are not related to one another living at the premises; or

                            (iii)  the number and nature of bathrooms in the premises;

                     (h)  the person's accommodation has not been offered to the person on a leasehold basis;

                      (j)  there is no requirement that the person pay a bond as security for either the payment of rent or the cost of any damage caused by the person, or for both;

                     (k)  the person's accommodation is available on a daily or other short-term basis.

          (5C)  Each of the characteristics set out in subsection (5B) points towards the accommodation in question being exempt accommodation.

             (6)  In this section:

"major area of accommodation" means any of the following, whether identifiably separate from other areas of accommodation or not:

                     (a)  a bathroom;

                     (b)  a kitchen;

                     (c)  a bedroom.

"recipient child" means a child who receives any of the following, but who does not receive any amount by way of rent assistance:

                     (a)  a social security payment;

                     (c)  a payment under the ABSTUDY Schooling scheme or the ABSTUDY Tertiary scheme;

                     (d)  a service pension;

                   (da)  a veteran payment;

                     (e)  a youth training allowance.



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