Am I a Covid impacted tenant?
The question is on the minds of many renters across Greater Sydney and NSW, faced with the fatigue of a backbreaking lockdown and considerable impact of Covid to the property market.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has redefined home as we know it – but for some tenants, that’s in the form of concern about rent payments, income security and potentially even having to move.
But it’s for those challenges that the NSW government introduced residential tenancy support at the onset of the current lockdown, in an effort to relieve some of the financial hardship for tenants finding it tough to make ends meet in the current crisis. We’ve outlined the details of the government support available below, along with what the current eligibility criteria is and how to apply.
What defines a Covid impacted tenant?
The Tenants’ Union of NSW defines an impacted tenant as someone who has experienced a loss in weekly household take-home income of at least 25%. This can be a result of lost employment, reduced work hours or income due to Covid restrictions, or from not being able to work due to having Covid (or someone in your household or care having it).
Impacted tenants need to be able to prove the 25% reduction, with evidence such as payslips, bank statements, letters or business records, in comparison with the 4 weeks prior to 26 June 2021 – as well as to continue paying at least 25% of their rent – in order to claim the support.
Can I still be evicted?
If you’re an eligible impacted tenant struggling to make your rent payments, you will be protected by the government’s moratorium period running from 14 July – 11 September 2021.
This is a 60-day protection against eviction for all types of tenancy agreements, with exemptions to certain circumstances for termination that can be found here.
After 11th September, if you are behind in rent due to Covid but have not made any agreement with your landlord to vary the rent, they may seek usual termination provisions.
Support for impacted landlords
Landlords may also be eligible for financial relief (of rebates up to $3000) who have experienced rental loss or reduction, more on which can be found here.
Our advice to tenants
For any tenant experiencing financial hardship, we urge you to get in touch with your local Prudential Real Estate office or agent to discuss options. This could be to waive your rent for a period of time, or to reduce it to repay later, depending on your situation.
In the meantime, the best option is to pay what you can afford – at least 25% to remain eligible for eviction protections – unless otherwise agreed with your landlord, as this will reduce your arrears for better options post-lockdown.
Where to apply for support
Tenants can lodge an application for support payments through Fair Trading NSW via this link.
For anyone experiencing financial hardship in Covid
If you or someone you know is experiencing financial hardship from Covid, there are a number of government supports available for emergency and/or ongoing relief.
These include disaster payments, pandemic leave, test and isolate payments and extreme hardship relief – visit NSW gov for more info on each or to apply.
Prudential Real Estate Campbelltown | (02) 4628 0033 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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