Managing manses occupied by Minister in placement
Manse occupancy
Renting out of manses
Manse Projects

Managing manses occupied by Minister in placement

The ‘core business’ of a manse is to provide accommodation for the Minister and family in placement and this can be achieved in a variety of ways: 

Manse is ‘held’ as Description Documentation Arrangements managed by

Bricks & mortar

Minister in placement lives in manse

Optional Manse Occupancy Letter of Understanding available from Property Services (details below)

Church Council

Bricks & mortar

A Uniting Church Minister that is not in placement lives in the manse – rental received provides Accommodation Allowance for the Minister in placement.

Manse Occupancy Agreement available from Property Services

Church Council

Bricks & mortar

Property is rented out and rental provides Accommodation Allowance for the Minister in placement

Property Management Agreements & Residential Tenancy Agreements must be in the name of The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.)  and signed by Property Services

Agreements by Property Services, day to day management by Church Council

Sale proceeds

Manse has been sold and sale proceeds are tagged ‘manse’ to purchase a manse when required in the future. Accommodation Allowance is paid from the interest earned on the funds.

Sale proceeds are managed by Property Services

Property Services

If the Minister in placement occupies the manse, the Church Council or Manse Committee should consider the following:

  • Using a Manse Occupancy Letter of Understanding (available from Property Services) – an informal agreement for congregation and minister re manse arrangements.
  • Appointing a contact person to liaise with minister on all manse issues.
  • Setting a limit that minister can spend on repairs without needing to seek authority.
  • Ensuring a clear understanding of who is responsible for what, e.g.              
    • excess water use
    • garden maintenance
    • reimbursement for sundry expenses.

Renting out manses

The Uniting Church has a reasonable number of manses rented out for a variety of reasons – the Minister lives in their own home, manse is not required between placements, no Minister in placement etc. When a manse is rented out, the rental can be used to provide the Accommodation Allowance for the Minister in placement or if there is no Minister in placement, it can be used for any purpose as directed by the Church Council.

General information:

Approvals - renting out a manse requires the approval of both your Church Council and Uniting Church SA via Property Services. For Property Services approval, contact Lynne Aird by email or phone with the Church Council request to rent the manse or simply provide the Church Council meeting minutes. Property Services will contact Pastoral Relations for comment before approval.

Agent – manse leases should be managed by an agent. Residential leasing requires compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 and expertise in this area is best provided by an agent. Additionally, managing a rental property takes a significant amount of time and knowledge and is not the ‘core business’ of the church. Normally higher rentals are achieved when leasing through an agent and this offsets the costs of professional fees.  Agents will seek tenants (agents have access to the Residential Tenancy Database for past history of prospective tenants), arrange inspections at commencement and termination of tenancies, ensure regular inspections,  process security bond payments and refunds, collect rental payments, pay invoices relating to the property as requested, arrange tenancy renewals, ensure all appropriate paperwork is in place (agreements, inspection sheets, provide information brochure etc) and advise regarding landlord obligations, tenant obligations, renewals, rental increases, tenant issues etc.

Agent selection – we suggest asking a couple of agents for their fees and what those fees cover. The fees should include their professional fee, re-letting fee, renewal fee and administration charges (if any). Compare the fees overall (eg if the professional fee is higher, the re-letting fee should be lower and no administration fee; if the professional fee is lower, it is reasonable to have a higher re-letting fee and possibly a small administration charge). Property Services can provide further advice regarding fee negotiation and the selection process.

Landlord name – all leases must be in the name of The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.), the legal entity for all Uniting Church property.

Agreements – these require signing by the Uniting Church SA office on behalf of the Property Trust. Property Management Agreements, Residential Management Agreements and Residential Tenancy Agreements can be emailed, faxed or sent to Property Services and will be signed and returned to the agent as soon as practicable.

Tenancy types – there are two tenancy types with different agreements:-

  • Fixed Term - a specific time is agreed at the beginning of the tenancy, eg 6 or 12 months
  • Periodic - the lease is for an indefinite period. A Periodic lease allows the tenants to give 3 weeks notice at any time and the landlord 3 months notice at any time.

Rental funds – the nett rental funds can be deposited directly into your congregation’s bank account as per the bank details provided in the Property Management Agreement or the Residential Management Agreement.

Manuals – manuals or written instructions for the operation of domestic appliances (eg oven, air conditioner, heating etc) must be provided to the tenant by law. An agent can advise what to do if manuals are not to hand.

Congregation obligations:

  • Pay rates and supply charges including council rates, sewerage charges, any levies and charges for water usage and supply as agreed between landlord and tenant (the agent can be requested to pay these if you prefer).
  • Maintain and repair the premises (having regard to their age, character and prospective life) – the agent can advise on any matters regarding maintenance and repairs.
  • Allow “the tenant peace, comfort and privacy”.
  • Provide and maintain locks to ensure premises are reasonably secure.
  • Provide smoke alarms.

For further information, please ring 8236 4210 or email

Manse projects 

  • All structural alterations, regardless of cost, require Uniting Church SA approval.
  • Property alterations which are structural or require Development Approval or are valued at $10,000 and over require Uniting Church SA approval.
  • All contracts require signing by the Church's only legal body regardless of value - The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.). Please contact the Uniting Church SA office. 

For further information regarding manse projects – see Building projects>

For application forms – see Forms>