The Australian government has implemented an evictions moratorium for tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means your landlord cannot evict you if you’re unable to pay rent due to coronavirus-related financial stress.
From 15th April, there’s a 60-day stop on evictions for rental arrears, which will be followed by restrictions in place for 6 months.
After the initial 60-day stop, the landlord will be required to enter into rent reduction negotiations with the tenant. If negotiations have failed, either the landlord or tenant can seek assistance from Fair Trading.
The landlord can seek to terminate the agreement only after negotiations have failed. The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) will assess whether it’s fair and reasonable to evict under the circumstances.
Rent payment agreement
Any agreement reached should specify what amount of rent will be waived or deferred:
- waiver — the tenant won’t be required to pay back an agreed amount of rent (part of or all of rent payments).
- deferral — the tenant must pay back an agreed rent in the future (part of or all of rent payments).
If rent is deferred, the agreement should specify when and how payments will be made.Rent relief during the Coronavirus Click To Tweet
Tips for tenants
Here are some steps you can take if you struggle to pay your rent because of lost income or unemployment:
- Know your rights by reading up on tenancy laws where you live. Check for details here.
- Talk to your landlord if you can’t make repayments.
- Check your eligibility for unemployment benefits. You may be eligible for an allowance or other payment if you’ve lost your job recently.
- Get in touch with your local tenancy support service:
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