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If you cannot pay your rent

Information about requesting a rent reduction, deferral or waiver.

COVID-19 support package for tenants and landlords

Temporary measures have been announced to support both tenants and landlords.

  • Tenants who can’t pay their rent in full because they are impacted by the recent COVID-19 outbreak can't be evicted between now and 11 September 2021.
  • Up to $1500 per tenancy will be available for landlords who agree to reduce rent for COVID-19 impacted tenants.

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Eviction moratorium

A tenancy moratorium to restrict when landlords can evict tenants due to rental arrears is in place until 11 September 2021.

Residential landlords who decrease rent for impacted tenants can apply for a grant or land tax reductions depending on their circumstances.

If you’re a tenant impacted by COVID-19 and are unable to pay some of your rent or other charges during the moratorium period, you should contact your landlord to try to agree on a plan to repay that money.

Eligibility for restriction on tenancy eviction

You’re eligible for the restrictions on evictions if your household income was been reduced by 25% or more because you, or a rent paying member of your household:

  • either lost or had a reduction in income or employment due to coronavirus, or
  • had to stop working or reduce work hours due to coronavirus illness or carer responsibilities.

A landlord or agent may terminate your lease in circumstances including: 

  • the landlord is selling the property
  • the property is being used for illegal purposes
  • you've caused serious damage to the property or injury to the landlord, agent or neighbour
  • the landlord is experiencing financial hardship
  • your fixed term agreement has come to an end.

Requesting a rent reduction, deferral or waiver

Contact your landlord or agent to negotiate a variation to your rental agreement.

The variation can include:

  • waiving rent for a period of time
  • reducing rent now and repaying it later in addition to your usual rent payments
  • repaying existing arrears over a period of time
  • a combination of these.

You will need to pay at least 25% of your rent to remain eligible for the eviction protections unless you and the landlord have agreed in writing to a lesser rent payment.

If you cannot come to an agreement with your landlord, you can request assistance from NSW Fair Trading.

To do this, you'll need to:

If you live in shared housing

The restriction on evictions applies to tenants in shared households who meet the eligibility requirements.

This includes any tenant who is a:

  • tenant named on the lease
  • sub-tenant under a written residential tenancy agreement with the main tenant named on the lease.

If you live in a boarding house

The moratorium on evictions does not apply to boarding house residents. If you're behind in your boarding house fees, you can try to negotiate with the proprietor:

  • for a reduction of fees
  • if any fees owing will be waived (never paid back) or deferred (paid back in the future)
  • on a repayment plan for any fees owed.

If you cannot reach an agreement with the operator, you can get help to resolve your dispute at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).


If you have any questions about your rights as a boarding house resident, you can contact NSW Fair Trading.

If you live in social or community housing

Tenants of social housing aren’t covered by the restriction on evictions. Social housing providers have their own processes when dealing with rental arrears.

It’s important that you tell the organisation that provides your housing straight away if you’re having trouble paying rent:

  • for social housing tenants, contact your client service officer (CSO)
  • for community housing tenants, contact your community housing provider.


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