COVID -19 changes: Rent

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a challenging time for everyone in Australia (and the world). This is a guide to managing your rent payments for your home if you have been financially impacted by the pandemic.

On this page:

  • Six changes you need to know about

  • What do the changes mean?

  • Steps to take

 

 

Six changes you need to know about

  1. Most State and Territory Governments have now made changes to the rental laws to protect people financially impacted by the pandemic
  2. The changes have included limits on evictions for people struggling to pay rent on their home
  3. Tenants and landlords are encouraged (and assistance may also be provided) to negotiate a temporary reduction in rent.
  4. Early termination of leases may also be available
  5. Rent relief payments (one-off payments to assist with rent) may also be available.

 

What do the changes mean?

It means that if you are struggling to pay your rent, help is available.

 

Steps to take

There are four main steps

01

Are you in financial difficulty because of the pandemic?

If you are still employed and have not been financially affected by the pandemic, keep paying your rent.

If you have been financially impacted by the pandemic, then you do need to get some help. Do not stop paying rent and hope that the limits on evictions will save you. You do need to take action.

If you are not affected by the pandemic but need information on rent, check out our general information on rent.

02

Check out the changes for your State or Territory online

The table below shows how each State and Territory is (or is not):

  • Putting in place restrictions that limit evictions;
  • Stopping rent increases occurring for a period of time.

To check on additional protections and assistance do check out the links for more information.

State/Territory Limiting evictions Rent increases More information
ACT 6 months 6 months Rental Relief  and  COVID 19 rental changes
NSW Up to 6 months COVID-19 Residential tenancy
NT None to date None to date NT Government: Business Recovery
QLD 6 months 6 months COVID-19 Help with renting
SA 6 months 6 months Rental advice due to COVID-19
TAS Until 30 June 2020 Until 30 June 2020 Residential tenancy – Changes to residential tenancies in Tasmania during COVID-19
VIC 6 months 6 months Consumer Affairs Victoria: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your rights
WA 6 months 6 months WA Government: COVID-19 coronavirus Consumer Protection FAQ

03

Contact your local free tenancy service (when needed)

Get advice about what to do in your circumstances. Your local tenancy service will know exactly what is happening in your area and give you tips on how to negotiate with your landlord and what to do if you cannot agree. Do not hesitate to keep calling your tenancy service for help when needed.

  Tenancy advice

ACT –                                     Tenants’ Union ACT
Northern Territory –    Tenants’ Advice Service, Darwin Community Legal Service
NSW –                                   Tenants’ Union of NSW
Queensland –                   Tenants Queensland
South Australia –            Tenants Information and Advisory Service
Tasmania –                          Tenants’ Union of Tasmania
Victoria –                             Tenants Victoria
Western Australia –      TenancyWA

04

Speak to one of our financial counsellors

If your problem still hasn’t been solved, or you’re feeling overwhelmed, call us on 1800 007 007 to speak with one of our financial counsellors.

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