Real Estate

Eviction moratorium extended to help renters impacted by COVID-19

Dexus Completes Industrial Estate in Western Sydney
Written by The ReReport
As seen in the Source link, written by on 2020-07-30 15:04:39

The ACT moratorium has been extended for three months until 22 October. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

Residential tenants experiencing financial hardship in the wake of COVID-19 have been granted a reprieve, with the ACT government extending its moratorium on evictions.

Under the announcement, the ACT moratorium has been extended for three months until 22 October and households affected by pandemic-related job losses can now terminate their fixed-term tenancy agreements early without penalty.

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The extension is in line with the decision by National Cabinet in late March for a moratorium on residential evictions for at least six months.

The new measures will provide support to COVID-19 impacted tenants. iStock.

“In addition to the moratorium on evictions for rental arrears, a COVID-19 impacted household can now terminate their agreement by providing their landlord with three weeks’ notice and evidence that they have been impacted by COVID-19,” ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said.

“In these circumstances, tenants will not be charged a ‘break-lease’ fee or be required to pay additional compensation. However, if they have fallen into rent arrears during the tenancy this money would still be owed as a debt to their landlord.

“This new measure will provide additional support to COVID-19-impacted tenants by removing the need for them to make an application to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) to terminate their tenancy due to hardship.”

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Joel Dignam, executive director for ACT tenant advocacy group, Better Renting, welcomed the extension saying it would give renters more “breathing space” in the wake of COVID-19.

“It’s great that the moratorium has been extended,” Mr Dignam said. “A lot of tenants have lost income, either a permanent loss or a period where they were without income for several weeks.

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In April, the ACT government announced $214 million towards a COVID-19 economic recovery. iStock

“People are doing what they can to stay on top of their rent, but particularly with a lot of landlords not giving rent reductions and the fact that there are people facing rental debt because of that, the moratorium has given people a bit of breathing space. This extension will help with that.”

In April, the ACT government announced $214 million towards a COVID-19 economic recovery, including support for renters suffering rental stress due to lost income.

The government also encouraged landlords to reduce rents by at least 25% for tenants under rental stress by sharing the cost reduction of the rental on a 50/50 basis, capped at $1,300 per quarter (around $100 a week).

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