Tenants and landlords in Sydney get financial support extension

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Mij Michael, August 25, 2021

As the lockdown continues across Sydney, landlords are able to access support for rent reductions granted to their tenants over the two months from July 14. The financial support by the NSW government is capped at the amount of rent reduction that is passed onto their tenants, or $3000, whichever is lower.

The extension for another month comes as NSW goes into a state-wide lockdown.

Landlords who:

  • Dropped rents for their tenants hit by the pandemic can make an additional application
  • Are yet to apply will be able to make one application for the total amount of rent waived, up to $1500 a month
  • Have lost at least 25 per cent of their income in lockdown – will be able to access up to a total of $3000 in financial support.

Landlords also have the option to apply for the COVID-19 land tax benefit, which is an offset of the land tax liability equal to the rent reduction granted.

Landlords can make separate claims for each premise they own and cannot ask tenants to repay the reduced amount of rent that has been paid to them under the Residential Tenancy Support Payment or land tax benefit.

Tenants are still protected by a 60-day eviction moratorium until September 11. 

The NSW tenants’ Union CEO, Mr Ross, said that the only weakness with the payments, was that the landlords weren’t necessarily obliged to apply for it even if they had an eligible tenant and that there had been a few isolated incidents, where landlords had been trying to get out of passing on the full reduction claimed on to their tenants.

Emily Sim, Ray White’s CEO of property management, said that the funds and land tax waiver helped landlords to offer rent relief because there is no finish line in sight. The government hasn’t named a date, so without a finish line date, it’s good news to have the support extended.

Ms Sim said that most landlords had responded positively to requests for rent relief, and added that Ray White was encouraging landlords not to proceed with any scheduled rent rises in lockdown.

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said it was vital to keep a roof over the heads of those who may be suffering financial hardship at this difficult time.

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