1.Introduction of interim 60 day stop issuing termination notices for non-payment by covid-19 impacted tenants. This is to force landlords and tenants to negotiate [in good faith].
2.The 6 month moratorium on landlords giving termination notices for rent arrears to covid-19 impacted tenants still apply, BUT landlords can still seek to terminate a covid-19 impacted tenant for rent arrears once the 60 days have expired IF landlords have tried to negotiate in good faith and didn’t reach agreement AND landlords believe the termination is fair and reasonable. The NCAT will need to be satisfied that negotiations have concluded.
3.A newly created $440m fund ($220m for resi and $220m for commercial) which will go towards land tax concessions or up to a 25% rebate for landlords who’s tenants are impacted by covid-19 IF that saving is passed onto financially distressed tenants. Details on how to access this are pending.
4.A residential tenant is considered to be impacted if
- one or more rent-paying members of a household have lost employment or income (or had a reduction in employment or income) due to covid-19 business closures or stand-downs, or
- one or more rent-paying members of a household have had to stop working or reduce work hours due to illness with covid-19 or due to covid-19 carer responsibilities for household or family members, and
- the above result in a household income (inclusive of any government assistance) reduction of 25% or more. Note 1: 25% is AFTER all government supports have been included. Note 2: income is income after tax (ie what is shown in the bank statement).
5.Extension of termination notice period at end of fixed term and various breaches to 90 days (from 30) to “minimise avoidable housing disruption and movement” during this time, except for the following breaches for which normal notice periods apply:
- Non-payment of rent or charges (non covid-19 impacted tenants).
- Landlord is suffering hardship.
- Serious damage to the property.
- Tenant caused injury to landlords, property managers, or neighbour.
- Property was used for illegal purposes.
- Tenant has threatened/abused/intimidated/ harassed landlord/property manager/others.
- Landlord is selling the property.
- Tenant has not complied with a rectification order (ie illegal modifications).
6.Rent arrears is not automatically waived. Tenants are still liable for all rent arrears UNLESS of course they have negotiated with the landlord in which case it is as per agreement (rent reduction or rental plan).
- Landlords and Tenants can still end a tenancy BY MUTUAL AGREEMENT any time ignoring all above.
- Tenants need to supply the landlord/property manager the following as proof of impact:-
- letter of job termination/stand-down, or loss of work hours
- proof of Government income support
- proof of prior income.
- All above apply to sub-tenants AS LONG AS there is a sub-tenancy agreement in place. The agreement between sub-tenant and head tenant remains IF the sub-tenant hasn’t been impacted by covid-19 and they need to continue to pay rent as per normal EVEN if the head tenant has been impacted and is seeking to negotiate their rent with the landlord.
- Tenants can terminate their lease anytime following normal processes/notice periods but will have to pay break fees if on a fixed lease.
- Covid-19 impacted tenants can not be blacklisted for rent arrears.
- The first point of call if there is no agreement is to the NSW Department of Fair Trading’s newly created Dispute Resolution service. If a landlord refuses to enter into negotiation, the NSW Department of Fair Trading will contact the landlord on behalf of tenant, AFTER collecting all relevant documentation and confirmed the 25% drop of income, to seek a mutual agreement.
- The NSW Department of Fair Trading is also advising the following
- Many insurers are adopting new procedures to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Some will require evidence that the landlord has attempted to negotiate with the tenant to cover for losses.
- Property Managers and landlords must not encourage tenants to access their super.
- Landlords should discuss with their lenders to waive or reduce mortgage payments if they cannot afford a rent reduction.
Who we are:
If you liked the content of this article and would like to learn more about NextGen and the services we provide, feel free to make contact with us by filling in the form on this location https://nextgenpm.com.au/contact-us/.
NextGen Property Mgmt (www.nextgenpm.com.au) is a boutique Real Estate licensed agency that specialises in property management. NextGen Property Mgmt does NOT have a sales team unlike most other agencies that specialise in Sales and have Property Management as a side business.
Our area of focus is residential property and we operate in the Eastern Suburbs, Inner West, Canterbury-Bankstown, South West Sydney, and St George.
NextGen was created from its infancy to cater for investors as it was founded by investors who quickly realised that in a highly regulated industry like Real Estate – competence, expertise, care and service by property managers varies greatly.
As an investor, you need to have trust for and feel valued by your property manager. You need to know that your property is being looked after and you are getting maximum return for your investment. At NextGen we understand that because we are investors with busy lives ourselves.