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Rental support measures… extended!

Rental support measures… extended!

Rental support measures in NSW to be extended for six months

SOURCE: Domain News

A rental support package for tenants and landlords in NSW will be extended another six months, the state government has announced.

Support measures for COVID-19-impacted tenants and landlords will be extended until March next year, to support those affected by the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes after the Victorian government announced it would extend its eviction ban to early 2021 and the Queensland government announced it would end its eviction moratorium on September 30, but would extend other protections until the end of the year.

The initial six-month support package, announced by the Berejiklian government in April, included an interim 60-day moratorium on evictions which ran until June 13. It also required landlords to negotiate with struggling households – those that have lost 25 per cent or more of their income due to the COVID-19 crisis – prior to seeking a forced end to a tenancy.

A rental support package for tenants and landlords in NSW will be extended another six months, the state government has announced.

Support measures for COVID-19-impacted tenants and landlords will be extended until March next year, to support those affected by the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes after the Victorian government announced it would extend its eviction ban to early 2021 and the Queensland government announced it would end its eviction moratorium on September 30, but would extend other protections until the end of the year.

The initial six-month support package, announced by the Berejiklian government in April, included an interim 60-day moratorium on evictions which ran until June 13. It also required landlords to negotiate with struggling households – those that have lost 25 per cent or more of their income due to the COVID-19 crisis – prior to seeking a forced end to a tenancy.

“As the impacts of COVID are ongoing, we intend to extend the measures until March next year which will allow more time to return to normal,” said Kevin Anderson, the Minister for Better Regulation.

Under the measures, which the government is looking to extend, a landlord can only evict a COVID-19-impacted tenant for rental arrears after they have attempted to negotiate a rent reduction in good faith – and with the help of a Fair Trading dispute resolution officer if an agreement cannot be reached.

The measures also allow affected tenants to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to end fixed term agreements in certain circumstances; stop landlords or agents from listing a COVID-19 impacted tenant on a tenancy database if they go into rental arrears; require landlords to give a 90-day minimum notice period for certain other evictions not related to rental arrears; and extend boarding house eviction notice periods.

The initial package also includes $440 million of financial support for landlords via land tax waivers and rebates – of up to 25 per cent – for business and residential landlords who pass on these savings to tenants. Land tax is only payable on about 20 per cent of residential properties.

The concession, due to end this month, will also be extended, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and the Minister for Finance Damien Tudehope also announced on Wednesday.

The concession, to be extended until December, will be applied to any unpaid 2020 land tax liability, and refunds will be issued for payments already made this year.

Since rental support package measures were introduced in April, over 50,000 people have accessed Fair Trading’s website for information on the tenancy moratorium, and Fair Trading has received over 5,000 direct enquiries from landlords, tenants and agents about the new arrangements.

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