NSW Residential tenancy support package welcomed

in a move today to further stabilise the position of lessors and lessees, the New South Wales Government has today announced $220 million in relief for residential renters and landlords affected by Government-enforced COVID-19 restrictions.

This is the first allocation in the State to residential renters — a group that had yet to receive financial support during the pandemic, with the package targeted at keeping people stable in rentals until the end of 2020.

The NSW Government has ordered a six-month moratorium on new forced evictions if the tenant is in rental arrears because they are suffering financial hardship due to coronavirus with the scheme requiring the landlord or managing agent to enter into negotiations with a tenant to negotiate before the tenancy can end . Hardship applies to tenants who have lost 25 per cent or more of their income.

A two-month moratorium is in place on forced evictions for those suffering financial hardship due to coronavirus. NSW Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson said an interim 60-day moratorium would be in place for new applications to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for forced evictions over COVID-19-related rent arrears. .

Tenants will be protected from eviction until the tribunal is satisfied that negotiations have been finalised with any unpaid rent to be repaid eventually. Any rent unpaid will accrue as arrears during this period. Landlords that have already filed to evict their tenants will have to wait 60 days for their applications to be processed. When the 60-day moratorium has come to an end, landlords will be able to recover their properties if they are in financial hardship, while tenants will not get a black mark against their names.

The NSW Government has also offered today to support the lessors by waving land tax or providing a rebate of up to 25 per cent if they are accommodating tenants under financial stress, eligible for a land tax concession for the rest of this calendar year. A further land tax deferral for any outstanding amounts for a three-month period will also be offered to landlords who claim the land tax concession.

Whilst the NSW Government can issue an emergency regulation this week to address the eviction moratorium and get things moving, some parts of the full package may need to go back to Parliament.

Providing support to tenants and the owner/managers of those properties is an important component of creating stable housing across the country.

Whilst our nation’s response to this pandemic is still coming together there is a critical need for the sector and its partners to work together to support the resilient communities theme that our organisation has been building over several years.

The next 18 months will be some of the most challenging days we have had as a country and working collectively with our partners, Federal Government and our Members will see our tenants prevail with PowerHousing CHPs building resilient Australian communities.