Will you get evicted if you miss your rent payment?
Evictions have been banned in New York and LA, while France suspended all utility bills and rent payments. In Australia landlords are being urged to show leniency to tenants who cannot afford to pay their rent, with calls to ban evictions to protect tenants and the wider public.
On the 29th March 2020 the States and Territories agreed to a 6 month moratorium on some evictions for commercial and residential tenants in financial distress. However, many states are still working out the finer details and implementing this change.
New South Wales
On the 28th September, the NSW Government announced a six-month extension to the moratorium on residential evictions until 28 March 2021.
The Victorian Government has extended the moratorium on evictions until 28 March 2021. Tenants can also apply for a rent relief grant of up to $3,000.
The Queensland Government six-month moratorium on evictions ended on 29 September 2020. Some protections will apply until 31 December 2020 including;
- provisions allowing tenants experiencing domestic and family violence to end their tenancies quickly
- protections for tenants against being listed in a tenancy database for rent arrears caused by COVID-19 impacts
- limits on reletting costs for eligible tenants who end their fixed-term tenancies early
- short term tenancy statement extensions for moveable dwellings
- entry restrictions and requirements to support COVID-19 social distancing measures
- relaxed repair and maintenance obligations.
In South Australia, the eviction moratorium ends on 28 March 2021. Tenants and landlords were asked to sit down and come to an agreement if a tenant had been financially impacted by COVID-19. However, the tenant is required to pay back their rent once the moratorium has expired.
WA announced an extension to the moratorium on rent increases and other provisions until 28 March 2021.
The TAS Government has extended the COVID-19 emergency period for residential tenancies to 1 December 2020. This means some protections initially put in place for residential tenants during the pandemic, and due to expire on 30 September 2020, have been extended to 1 December 2020.
The ACT Government has announced an extension to its eviction moratorium for renters to 31 January 2021. The six-month moratorium was expected to expire on 22 October 2020, but affected tenants in the ACT now have a further three months to pay their rental arrears.
The NT Government walked away from the moratorium on evictions in April 2020. In the NT, the negotiation period between COVID-19-affected tenants and landlords on rent has been extended from 14 days to 60 days and the notice period for eviction has also been increased from 14 days to 60 days, which gives tenants protection for up to 120 days.
Negotiating with your landlord
Remember, we are all in this together. Landlords may also be experiencing financial hardship. When you attempt to negotiate with your landlord to pay a reduced amount or no rent for a short period, consider their position.
It might be in the landlord's best interest to reach an agreement with you. It is much more difficult and expensive to replace you than show some leniency. Some landlords will be more willing to do this, especially if their mortgage costs are not excessive.
For other landlords, reducing your rent will require their bank to reduce or delay mortgage repayments. This process can take time and cause anxiety for property owners. Try to keep the dialogue open and constructive.
Will COVID-19 impact rental prices?
It’s impossible to tell what the future holds for Australia’s property market, but realestate.com.au believe the rental market will be hit first.
The major influence on rent is increased unemployment, particularly amongst younger Australians. As job losses mount, search activity from renters is down while the number of rental listings is rising.
More renters are moving to share accommodation or moving to live with their family during the crisis. While rental prices haven't moved yet, according to realestate.com.au it’s likely prices will fall.
How to track rental prices
To track rental prices in your area, download the Rollit Wealth App and add your home address in the property and lending section. Be sure to select "I rent this property" in the drop down menu!
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