The Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2021 has introduced substantial rent reductions for eligible tenants who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
For a 60 day period between 14 July 2021 and 11 September 2021, if a tenant is an ‘impacted tenant’ and gives a notice to the landlord to that effect, the tenant may be entitled to up to a 75% reduction of the rent usually payable.
Provided an ‘impacted tenant’ continues to pay at least 25% of the rent, the tenant will also be protected by a moratorium on eviction for failure to pay the rent in full within the 60 day period. This moratorium does not extend to terminations for reasons other than rental arrears.
To be considered an ‘impacted tenant’ the tenant must be a member of a household impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A household is impacted by the pandemic if any 1 of more rent-paying members have:
lost employment or income due to the impact of the COVID-19; or
had a reduction in work hours or income as a result of the COVID-19; or
had to stop working, or materially reduce their work hours, because:
they, themselves, has COVID-19; or
another member of the household has COVID-19; or
they have to take care of a family member who has COVID-19
and as a result of any of the above matters, the weekly household income has been reduced by at least 25% compared to the average weekly household income for the 4 weeks immediately preceding 26 June 2021.
Given that the new regulations does mandate a percentage of rental relief that the landlord is required to provide an impacted tenant, the parties are encouraged to work together and negotiate rent reductions having regard to the actual financial impact on the tenant due to the current public health restrictions.
To assist landlords, the NSW Government have introduced a land tax concession equal to the value of rent reductions granted up to 100% of their 2021 land tax year liability. Landlords that provide rent reductions but are not liable to pay land tax, may apply for a grant of up to $1,500.
Henry William Lawyers can assist with any related enquiries, contact:
Ron Zucker 0410 590 111
Vincent Tripodina 0408 228 108
Chelsea Woodward 0404 065 899