KEY TAKE OUTS
- Due to expire in October 2020, the NSW Government has extended the COVID-19 rental moratorium measures to 26 March 2021.
- The relief measures were put in place to protect residential tenants affected by COVID-19.
- Residential or commercial landlords who have reduced their tenants’ rent due to COVID-19 may also be eligible for land tax relief until 31 December 2020.
The Residential Tenancies Amendment COVID-19 Regulation 2020 (“the Regulation”) was originally introduced by the NSW Government on 15 April 2020. The Regulation introduced a 6 month moratorium period which applies to residential tenants financially affected by COVID-19.
The relief measures extended by the NSW Government include:
- Preventing landlords from serving eviction notices or applying to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for termination orders against a tenant affected by COVID-19 for failing to pay rent unless they have, in good faith have attempted to negotiate a rent reduction;
- Allowing tenants affected by COVID-19, in certain circumstances, to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to end fixed term agreements;
- Preventing landlords or agents from listing a tenant affected by COVID-19 tenant on a tenancy database for failing to pay rent or charges;
- Extending the 90 day minimum period of notice landlords must give tenants for certain other evictions not related to failing to pay rent or charges; and
- Extending boarding house eviction notice periods where the landlord has not attempted to negotiate in good faith.
For landlords, relief is available to landlords whose tenants can prove financial distress due to COVID-19 and who have reduced their tenants’ rent for any period between:
- 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020, and/or
- 1 October 2020 and 31 December 2020.
If eligible, the relief available may:
- Reduce up to 50% of a landlord’s land tax liability;
- Provide a refund on the amount of rent reduction given to a tenant; or
- Reduce the amount of 2020 land tax payable if payment has not yet been made.
Applications for the COVID-19 land tax relief close on 31 December 2020. Landlords can submit their application here.
If you are a tenant or landlord who is concerned about their rental contract or have any particular queries regarding the relief measures provided by the NSW Government, please contact Coutts today.
ABOUT CHRISTINE GUIRGUIS:
Christine Guirguis is a Senior Lawyer within our commercial and dispute resolution team. She has experience in acting for small to medium sized businesses and individuals in a range of commercial areas including employment, leases, shareholding, construction law, dispute resolution, and commercial litigation.
This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.