Sydney apartment tenants secure eviction moratorium in lockdown measures

Residential landlords who decrease rent for impacted tenants can apply for a grant

Sydney apartment tenants secure eviction moratorium in lockdown measures
Sydney apartment tenants secure eviction moratorium in lockdown measures

The NSW Government has ruled that residential tenants will have greater protection during the escalating lockdown with a targeted eviction moratorium.

Additionally residential landlords who decrease rent for impacted tenants can apply for a grant of up to $1,500 or land tax reductions depending on their circumstances.

Commercial and retail landlords will need to attempt mediation before recovering a security bond, or locking out or evicting a commercial or retail tenant impacted by the Public Health Order.

Commercial, retail and residential landlords liable for land tax will be eligible for a land tax concession where they reduce the rent of their tenant.

The temporary tenancy moratorium introduced in 2020 to restrict when landlords could evict tenants due to rental arrears as a result of COVID-19 ended on 26 March 2021.

From 27 March 2021, a six-month transitional period had begun.

The six-month transitional period saw COVID-19 impacted tenants who accrued rent arrears between 15 April 2020 and 26 March 2021 not being subject to the standard tenancy eviction rules for those arrears.

Tenants and landlords were being assisted by Fair Trading to negotiate repayment plans for arrears accrued during the moratorium period. Under the transition landlords were only be able to evict these tenants for these arrears if they have first attempted in good faith to negotiate a repayment plan.

It also has to be fair and reasonable to evict.

If a landlord and tenant have agreed to a repayment plan, the tenant cannot be evicted unless they have failed to meet agreed repayments on two consecutive occasions.

COVID-19 impacted tenants are also permanently protected from being listed on tenancy databases for arrears accrued during the moratorium period.

Landlords were able to terminate any tenant under standard provisions for arrears accrued after the moratorium measures ended on 26 March 2021.

The NSW Government has announced the new support for landlords included up to $210 million in grants to eligible landlords.The land tax relief will be equal to the value of rent reductions provided by landlords to financially distressed tenants, up to 100 per cent of the 2021 land tax year liability.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the short-term tenancy and landlords support package will provide renters and landlords with immediate assistance during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“These measures hinge on landlords and tenants working together through this challenging period and we encourage both parties to enter negotiations in good faith.

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The latest eviction measures were announced by the NSW Government amid an economic support package worth billions of dollars aimed at helping businesses and people right across the state fight through the current COVID-19 lockdown.

The commitment will now be up to $5.1 billion, including more than $1 billion from the Commonwealth as part of a business and employee support program.

The business grants program announced two weeks ago has been expanded, with grants between $7,500 and $15,000 available to eligible businesses with annual wages up to $10 million.

A new grant program has also been introduced for smaller micro businesses with turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.


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