Update: The big difference across COVID-19 State rental packages
by Emma Allen
Thank you to everyone who wrote to the QLD Government for better protection of landlords rights during their review of COVID-19’s impact on the residential tenancy act. It worked and as a result, we have a much better outcome thanks to our collective action.
The Federal Government’s announcement on the ‘moratorium on evictions’ on the 29th March raised more questions than it answered. The reason why it’s taken weeks to implement is because the changes fall under State Government jurisdiction and therefore you’ll find a big difference in the speed of delivery, rental relief, landlord support and the new rules across the states. Here are some key points to take note of:
- $400 million support package includes a six-month moratorium on evictions that will only apply where the tenants incomes was reduced as result of COVID-19 and they risk of eviction.
- Tenants now need to provide proof of a 25 loss in income or show that rent exceeds 30 of the tenant’s income.
- Tenants will be able to break a lease with capped fees if they have lost 75 of their income.
- Residential tenants crisis payment of up to $500 a week for up to four (4) weeks ($2000 maximum)
Full details at: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/the-hub/for-property-owners
NEW SOUTH WALES
- $400 million support package includes a six-month moratorium on forced evictions due to rental arrears as a result of COVID-19, and new requirements for landlords and tenants to enter into negotiations over rental payments
- Tenants will be protected from eviction until NCAT is satisfied that negotiations have concluded. Any unpaid rent will accrue as arrears during this period.
- Tenants will avoid being added to tenancy databases (or ‘blacklists’) for breaches of agreements resulting from COVID-19 impacts.
- In the interim NSW has a 60-day stop on landlords seeking to evict tenants due to rental arrears as a result of COVID-19
- $500 million support package for commercial and residential tenants. The package includes a six-month moratorium on evictions and rental increases. Legislation expected to pass through Parliament today (23rd April)
- $420 million of land tax relief for landlords who discount rents for tenants in pandemic-related hardship.
- $80 million in rental assistance for tenants who remain under financial stress after mediation. The latter will be paid directly to landlords. Payments capped at $2,000.
- Victoria’s amendments to the residential tenancies act due to come into effect 1st July may be delayed to 2021.
Remember – the state legislation that could affect you is based on the location of your property and tenants. Therefore, a valuable point of reference is your Property Manager. They will have the most up to date information on your tenants situation and the relevant legislation.
Additionally, you will find a short 3-minute video below on simple ‘Tips for Landlords’. If you haven’t already taken these steps, now is the time to prepare yourself to ride this out.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to know more about changes in the current property market, please contact our team on 1300 449 974.