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Rent relief extended for landlords and tenants

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The NSW Government has announced an increase to the Residential Tenancy Support Package to up to $4,500 per tenancy and an extension to the eviction moratorium until 11 November 2021, giving increased security to residential tenants impacted by COVID-19.

According to a media release distributed today, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said the increased payment will encourage landlords to offer rent reductions to tenants who are doing it tough and the extension of the eviction moratorium will provide welcome peace of mind to renters.

“We know times are tough and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant financial hardship for many, which is why the NSW Government is continually assessing our support and providing assistance where it is needed,” Mr Anderson said.

“The Residential Tenancy Support Package will now provide payments of up to $4,500 per tenancy as long as landlords reduce rent for their tenants by at least that much and have not claimed land tax relief. This is a further $1,500 increase and comes as part of our commitment to supporting people who have taken a hit due to COVID-19.

“We have always encouraged landlords and tenants to work together to negotiate a rent reduction, and now the NSW Government is providing a rebate of up to $4,500 to make sure tenants and landlords are both protected.

“During times like this it is crucial that we all dig deep and do what we can to help each other out, so I am strongly encouraging landlords to work out a rent reduction for their tenants and then make the most of this rebate. The NSW Government is working around the clock to get applications approved and money is being processed in a very timely fashion.”

Mr Anderson said the extension to the eviction moratorium will give tenants who have experienced a downturn in their income due to COVID-19 one less thing to worry about while they are getting back on their feet.

“COVID-19 impacted residential tenants who are struggling with rent will continue to be protected from eviction due to rental debts until 11 November, which is an extra two months protection to the moratorium period previously established.” Mr Anderson said.

“Following the moratorium, for the period 12 November 2021 – 12 February 2022, transitional measures will apply and will limit when terminations can occur for rental debt accrued during the moratorium.”

If you have agreed a repayment plan, a landlord will only be able to terminate your tenancy for this debt if:

·         you have failed to make 2 or consecutive repayments; and

·         it is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

If you have not been able to agree on a repayment plan, a landlord will be able to terminate your tenancy for this debt if:

·         the landlord has tried, in good faith, to negotiate a repayment plan through Fair Trading, and

·         it is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

Landlords also have the option to apply for the COVID-19 land tax benefit instead of applying for the Residential Tenancy Support Payment, which is an offset of the land tax liability equal to the rent reduction granted.

Tenants and landlords are encouraged to enter into negotiations in good faith but if you are unable to resolve the issue privately, you can contact Fair Trading who will act as a mediator:

https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/lodge-tenancy-complaint-nsw-fair-trading

Applications for the increased rebate will open shortly. Landlords who have already claimed the rebate can offer further rent reductions and apply for an additional rebate up to $4,500.

Alternately a landlord who has yet to apply for the rebate can do so in a single application. For more information on the package or to apply go to Residential tenancy support package | NSW Fair Trading.

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