Changes to Covid-19 rental legislations – a state by state guide

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Fast forward to October, most of the policies implemented earlier in the year are being updated now that people’s lives are gradually returning to normal. This article provides an update to our previous article in March by outlining the changes in policies for each state.

New South Wales

Landlords:

Landlords in NSW who meet the following conditions can apply for a land tax reduction of up to 50% in the 2020 financial year. Eligibility will be determined by the following factors:

  1. Your tenant can prove that they are in financial distress due to Covid-19, and
  2. You and your tenant have agreed to reduce rent between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020, and/or between 1 October 2020 and 31 December 2020. 

 

Link for details: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-covid-19-land-tax-relief?q=transaction+apply+covid+19+land+tax+relief

 

Tenants:

Tenants in NSW can expect the rent assistance program to continue until 26 March of 2021.

So what does this mean? 

  1. Tenants are unable to be evicted unless rent reduction negotiation has been previously conducted 
  2. Landlords and agents are unable to list Covid-19 impacted tenants on tenancy database
  3. Tenant eviction due to reasons unrelated to rental arrears require 90 days of notice
  4. Tenants impacted by Covid-19 can end fixed term lease via Tribunal. 

 

Link for details: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/909729/151-Govt-Media-Release-re-extension-moratorium-230920.PDF

Victoria

Landlords:

  1. The 25% land tax waiver to eligible residential landlords has been extended to 2021.
  2. Landlords with residential properties in inner or middle Melbourne and have experienced more than six months vacancy in 2020 can waive their 2021 vacant residential land tax.

 

Tenants:

  1. The rent relief grant has increased to up to $3,000 from 20 August 2020 (previously $2,000)
  2. To be eligible for the grant you previously could have no more than $5000 in personal savings. This limit has been raised to $10,000.

 

Link for details: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

 

Queensland

Landlords: 

  1. The 2020-2021 land tax payments will be deferred for 3 months
  2. Landlords can apply for a 25% land tax rebate for eligible properties for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial year
  3. 2% foreign surcharge land tax has been waived for the 2019/2020 financial year. 

 

Link for details: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/tax/covid-19

 

Western Australia

Landlords:

Western Australian landlords affected by Covid-19 can apply to be exempt from penalty tax relating to the late payment of land tax.

Detailed link: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-finance/covid-19-revenuewa-measures

 

Tenants:

Western Australia has extended the rental relief grant till 28 March 2021. This means that existing laws, including the hold on rent increases and termination of tenancies, will remain in place. 

The extension will also allow eligible tenants to apply for up to a $2,000 one-time rent subsidy. Tenants who previously applied for the subsidy during the first stage can apply again if their income is still affected by Covid-19. 

Link for details: https://rentrelief.dmirs.wa.gov.au/

Mortgage Assistance

For property investors affected by Covid-19, banks have also offered support.

Earlier in the year, The Australian Banking Association (ABA) implemented a 6 month mortgage freeze option for eligible individuals. Recently the ABA announced a four-month extention for individuals that still require support. The 4 month extension will take place at the end of the current 6-month repayment deferral period up until March 2021.

If you need to contact your lender to negotiate a solution, use the following link to find the contact details for your bank. 

https://www.ausbanking.org.au/for-customers/financial-difficulty/

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