The NSW Government has announced a six-month extension of the measures put in place to help residential tenants and landlords financially disadvantaged by COVID-19.
Member for Riverstone, Kevin Conolly said the existing measures have provided much needed support to local renters since they were introduced in April this year.
“The Government acted quickly and compassionately to support every tenant and landlord doing it tough due to COVID-19 by introducing a series of successful and effective measures,” Mr Conolly said.
“This has given many families in the north-west of Sydney stability and security by helping tenancies continue, keeping a roof over people’s heads and giving landlords the security of continued rental payments.”
The measures the NSW Government have extended are:
- Preventing landlords from evicting “COVID-19 impacted” tenants for rental arrears unless they have attempted to negotiate a rent reduction in good faith;
- Allowing tenants impacted by COVID-19 to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to end fixed term agreements in certain circumstances;
- Stopping landlords or agents from listing a COVID-19 impacted tenant on a tenancy database if they go into rental arrears;
- Extending the 90 day minimum period of notice landlords must give tenants for certain other evictions not related to rental arrears; and
- Extending boarding house eviction notice periods where the landlord has not attempted to negotiate in good faith.
A household is “COVID-19 impacted” if:
- One or more rent-paying members of a household have lost employment or income (or had a reduction in employment or income) due to COVID-19 business closures or stand-downs, or
- One or more rent-paying members of a household have had to stop working or reduce work hours due to illness with COVID-19 or due to COVID-19 carer responsibilities for household or family members, and
- The above factors result in a household income, inclusive of any government assistance, that is reduced by 25% or more.
All tenants who are not impacted by COVID-19 are expected to honour their existing tenancy agreements including paying all rent and charges in full.
Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said since the measures were introduced in April, over 50,000 people have accessed Fair Trading’s website information on the tenancy moratorium, while Fair Trading has received over 5,000 direct enquiries from landlords, tenants and agents about the new arrangements.
“There’s no doubt that the pandemic has resulted in financial difficulty for so many people in NSW, so it’s heartening to see tenants, landlords and agents taking advantage of this support,” Mr Anderson said.
“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.”
Tenants, landlords and agents can find up to date information and resources at https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/resource-library/publications/coronavirus-covid-19/property/moratorium.