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NSW to continue support for COVID-impacted tenants and landlords

Published: 23 September 2020
Released by: Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation

The NSW Government has today announced a six-month extension of the measures put in place to help residential tenants and landlords financially disadvantaged by COVID-19. 

 

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said the existing measures have provided much needed support to renters since they were introduced in April this year. 
 
“We acted quickly and compassionately to support every tenant and landlord doing it tough due to COVID-19 by introducing a series of successful and effective measures,” Mr Anderson said. 
 
“This has meant that many tenancies have been able to continue, keeping a roof over people’s heads and giving landlords the security of continued rental payments.” 
 
The measures the NSW Government is seeking to extend are:

  • Preventing landlords from evicting COVID-19 impacted tenants for rental arrears unless they have attempted to negotiate a rent reduction in good faith;
  • Allowing tenants impacted by COVID-19 to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to end fixed term agreements in certain circumstances;
  • Stopping landlords or agents from listing a COVID-19 impacted tenant on a tenancy database if they go into rental arrears;
  • Extending the 90 day minimum period of notice landlords must give tenants for certain other evictions not related to rental arrears; and,
  • Extending boarding house eviction notice periods where the landlord has not attempted to negotiate in good faith. 

Since these measures were introduced in April, over 50,000 people have accessed Fair Trading’s website information on the tenancy moratorium, while Fair Trading has received over 5,000 direct enquiries from landlords, tenants and agents about the new arrangements.  
 
“We know the pandemic has resulted in financial difficulty for so many people in NSW, so it’s been heartening to see tenants, landlords and agents reaching out to Fair Trading to take advantage of this support,” Mr Anderson. 

“As the impacts of COVID are ongoing, we intend to extend the measures until March next year which will allow more time to return to normal.” 
 
An amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act is required to extend one measure under the package and an amendment will be introduced into the NSW Parliament this week to allow its passage before the measure expires on October 15.   
 
Visit the Fair Trading website for up to date information and resources for tenants, landlords and agents 

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