Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about investing with us.


Lease terms

You can request a copy of the DHA Lease Agreement at any time. To obtain a copy of the lease please call 133 342 or submit an online enquiry.

Our lease terms are fixed allowing you to easily adopt a buy and hold strategy.

Our standard lease terms are nine or 12 years, however shorter lease terms of three or six years may be offered on occasion.

So that we have flexibility to meet our Defence housing obligations there is a variable extension period which is used at DHA’s discretion, and is non-negotiable.

So that we have flexibility to meet our Defence housing obligations our lease agreements include a variable extension period which is used at our discretion, and is non-negotiable.

The variable extension period is usually three years. Where these apply they are indicated on the property listing on our website and in the lease agreement.

Rent is paid monthly, in advance, on the first day of each month. The exception to this is the first payment which is paid on the first day of the following month (adjusted to lease start date), and the final payment, which is paid in arrears.

The advertised rent is the gross rent before fees and charges have been deducted.

As with any property investment, you will retain some responsibilities:

  • provision of essential services (e.g. water, electricity, gas, sewerage and drainage)
  • damage to the structure or infrastructure caused by:
    • subsidence
    • pest infestation
    • fire, lightning, flood, storm or tempest
  • major landscaping (e.g. tree removal, drainage works, fencing and retaining walls)
  • maintaining appropriate insurance cover, and work covered by any warranty held by you.

As an investor you will retain responsibility for some outgoing costs:

  • council rates
  • water rates (usage reimbursed by DHA)
  • strata rates (if applicable)
  • land tax (dependent on the state of purchase and your personal circumstances)
  • insurance (please refer to the DHA Lease Agreement)
  • termite inspections (at your discretion)

If you wish, and once authorised by you, we can pay property-related outgoing costs on your behalf as part of our bill-paying service.

The DHA Property Care management fee is calculated as a percentage of the rent and is deducted from your monthly payments.

See DHA Property Care for more information.

We understand that personal circumstances can change, and that you may need to sell the property during the term of the lease.

You can sell the property at any time, however the property must be sold with the remainder of the lease intact. For more information, view the step-by-step guide on how to sell your DHA mid-lease property.

At the end of the lease agreement, the property is returned to you. This means you can move in, rent privately or sell as you wish.

You may also be entitled to a lease-end make-good. This means that DHA will ensure all appliances are in good working order; the property is professionally cleaned throughout; and the dwelling, grounds and landscaping are in neat and tidy condition.

Where the lease term is six years or longer, we paint the property internally.

Where the lease term is nine years or more, DHA will also re-carpet and paint external structure (except where this is the responsibility of a Body Corporate).


Almost anyone is eligible to buy a DHA investment property. You don’t have to be a Defence member, in fact the majority of our investors have no connection to Defence at all.

Yes, anyone can purchase a DHA investment property. However, it is important to be aware that your housing and rent entitlement subsidy (as set by the Department of Defence) may be affected if you are posted to the same location as your DHA leased investment property.

Please refer to the Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN), Chapter 7 (7.2.18 Home leased for commercial purposes) for more information.

Companies, trusts and self-managed super funds can purchase a DHA investment property. A large number of our properties have been purchased by such structures and benefit from our long-term lease, guaranteed rental income and fixed management fee.

Whether or not a DHA property is suitable for purchase through your structure will depend on your investment strategy and the circumstances of the purchase, so as always, you should seek independent advice.

A DHA investment property is well suited to an investor looking for a hands-off investment, and we do have investors who do not reside in Australia.

In order to purchase a DHA investment property, you must have an Australian bank account and be eligible to invest. If you are a ‘foreign person’, as defined by the Foreign Investment Review Board, you should seek professional advice about your eligibility to invest with DHA.

Sales process

Buying a DHA property is similar to purchasing any other property with a few key differences:

  • Before you buy a property you will need to register with us and provide written finance pre-approval from your bank/broker, or evidence of sufficient funds to settle the property.
  • Properties for sale are released each fortnight. You can view the properties on our website.
  • When you have selected a property you wish to purchase, you should advise your DHA Sales Consultant.
  • Your Sales Consultant will enter you into the property ballot which takes place nine days after the properties are released.
  • If you are successful in the ballot, you will be required to pay a $2,000 holding deposit in order to secure the property. At this stage the contract process begins and the Sales Consultant will submit the Sales Advice to your Solicitor.
  • Settlement typically takes seven weeks from the date the Sales Advice is issued.

DHA investment properties

DHA investment properties are sold by us to investors under a leaseback arrangement. This arrangement means investors receive guaranteed rent1 for the term of the lease, a long-term lease and an extensive range of property-related services. It’s a hassle free investment option.

Investment properties are released each fortnight on the property search page.

Mid-lease properties

Occasionally investors need to sell their DHA investment property, when this happens the property is sold with the lease in place. This means the buyer of the property agrees to the conditions outlined in the existing lease agreement and transfers their name onto the lease.

We maintain a list of mid-lease properties for sale, however DHA is not the vendor of these properties and these sales are facilitated by licensed real estate agents.

Ex-Defence properties

Ex-Defence properties are those that have become surplus to Department of Defence requirements. In most cases, they are ready for immediate occupation, or use as a private investment.

We maintain a list of ex-Defence properties for sale which can be purchased through the real estate agent in the respective listing.

Our properties are priced around valuation and are considered fair market value.

The prices of our properties are fixed and are not negotiable.

Our properties are typically sold via a ballot system which takes place fortnightly. The ballot system gives anyone interested in investing in our product an equal opportunity to do so.

The ballot is an automated process with investors who have entered the ballot chosen at random and given the opportunity to purchase the property they have selected.

The key to success in the ballot is being open to investing in a wide range of properties; the more properties an investor selects in the ballot, the greater the chance of securing a property. An investor who is successful in the ballot will only be allocated one of the properties they have selected.

Properties are released fortnightly and are available to view on our website tagged as ‘COMING SOON’. These properties are then available for purchase through the ballot which takes place nine days after being released.

If properties are not sold through the ballot they remain available to purchase immediately. These properties are marked as ‘BUY NOW’.

When we have a number of similar properties, we may offer some directly to investors. These offers are made to investors that have previously bid on similar properties without success.

Yes, this is encouraged. Entering the ballot with multiple property preferences will inevitably improve your chance of success.

However an investor who is successful in the ballot will only be allocated to one of the properties they have selected.

To protect the privacy of our Defence members we do not publish the addresses of properties for sale.

However, once you have provided your finance documentation, we can provide you with the property address upon written request.

Our properties are usually occupied throughout the sales process. Once a property has been secured, and after payment of the $2,000 holding deposit, a full inspection can be undertaken by appointment.

Under no circumstances are you to approach the property or the tenant without an appointment. You are also not authorised to take photos, look through windows or over fences. This is to protect the privacy of the tenants.

It is strongly recommended you engage the services of a solicitor or conveyancer, licensed to practice in the state or territory of the property you are purchasing.
Should the purchase not proceed, the $2,000 deposit will be refunded.
We don't provide or arrange lending services, instead we encourage you to seek independent advice to find the right loan product and structure for your situation. We do have links to financial calculators which can help you determine your borrowing capacity.

Investing knowledge

Yield is a measure of how much cash an asset produces each year as a percentage of that asset’s value.

For property, the yield calculation is the percentage of rental income for the purchase price of the property.

Gross yield is the calculation before taxes and outgoing expenses, expressed as a percentage.

Net yield is the calculation after taxes and predicted outgoing expenses, expressed as a percentage.

Gross rental yield = annual rental income (weekly rental incomes x 52 weeks) / property price x 100.

For example, for a property with a purchase price of $400,000 and weekly rent of $350:

(52 weeks x $350 weekly rent) / $400,000 purchase price x 100 = 4.55% gross rental yield

The estimated outgoing costs for each property will be listed where possible in the property listings.

Have more questions?

Contact one of our Sales Consultants by calling 133 342 or make an enquiry online.

Investment is subject to DHA's lease terms and conditions of sale. Investors retain some responsibilities and risks i.e. rent, make-good and market fluctuations. Prospective investors should seek independent advice.
1. Rent may be subject to abatement in limited circumstances.