COVID-19: Maintaining your rental income – information for landlords

Updated: 1st August 2021

Key points

  • Governments around the country have provided a range of options to support residential tenants during periods of of lockdown
  • Support included things like suspending eviction notices, moratoriums on evictions for rent arrears caused by COVID-19 and in some states,  restrictions on rent increases
  • In exchange for assisting tenants suffering financial hardship, most state governments offered landlords land tax rebates and deferrals
  • In many cases these options have now been wound back. The exact arrangements vary by state, but generally landlords are being encouraged to negotiate with tenants to provide rent relief such as rent discounts and rent pauses for tenants suffering financial hardship
  • Landlords may be able to claim for lost rent under landlord insurance policies, but exactly how this works and what your entitlements may be is complicated, depends on your policy and on the actions you take

Landlord options in New South Wales

MeasureDetails
60 day freeze on any evictions from 14 July to 11 September 2021For eligible COVID-19 impacted tenants that have lost income because of COVID-19, the households take home weekly income has fallen by more than 25% and the tenant continues to pay at least 25% of the rent payable
Landlord financial assistance available in the form of Residential Tenancy Support Payment or the COVID-19 land tax benefitWhere a tenant agrees to reduce the rent of a COVID-19 impacted tenant they can claim the Residential Tenancy Support Payment for the lesser of $1500 or the amount of the rent reduction or the lesser of the rent reduction or 100% of the land tax payable by the landlord on the land leased to the tenant.

More information on rent relief arrangements in NSW is available from NSW Fair Trading

Landlord options in Victoria

MeasureDetails
Land tax rebates were offered to landlords as an incentive to support tenants suffering financial hardship due to COVID-19 but this has now ceasedWhere a landlord provides tenants with a rent reduction equal to or more than 25% of their land tax the land tax will be rebated, Where are rebate is provided the land tax payment can also be deferred by 3 months. This has now ceased

More information on rent relief arrangements in Victoria is available from Consumer Affairs Victoria

Landlord options in Queensland

MeasureDetails
Protection from tenants being blacklisted for COVID-19 related rent arrearsIn place until 30 Sep 2021
Limits on re-letting costs for eligible tenants that end tenancy agreements earlyIn place until 30 Sep 2021
Land tax rebates are being offered to landlords as an incentive to support tenants suffering financial hardship due to COVID-19 but these have now ceasedWhere a landlord provided tenants with a rent reduction equal to or more than 25% of their land tax the land tax will be rebated, Where are rebate is provided the land tax payment can also be deferred by 3 months. This has now ceased

More information on rent relief arrangements in Queensland is available from the Queensland Government

Landlord options in Western Australia

MeasureDetails
Residential Rent Relief Grant scheme has been expandedExpanded to provide more support to tenants unable to pay rent after COVID-19 support arrangements ended. Grants of up to $2000 available per tenancy. Grants of up to $4000 are available to assist with rent arrears that arose before 1 Dec 2020

More information on rent relief arrangements in Western Australia Australia is available from the Western Australia Government

Landlord options in South Australia

MeasureDetails
Moratorium on evictions for tenants due to rent arrears caused by the financial impact of COVID-19Until at least 1 Sep 2021
Restrictions on rent increases for COVID-19 impacted tenantsUntil at least 1 Sep 2021
Changes in the procedures for repairs and maintenance and property inspectionsUntil at least 1 Sep 2021
General protection for tenants that breach their agreement by complying with a direction under COVID-19 related lawUntil at least 1 Sep 2021

More information on rent relief arrangements in South Australia is available from the South Australia Government

Landlord options in Tasmania

MeasureDetails
Support arrangements ceased on 30 June 2021

More information on rent relief arrangements in Tasmania is available from the Tasmanian Government

Landlord options in Australian Capital Territory

MeasureDetails
Support arrangements ceased 30 June 2021

More information on rent relief arrangements in the ACT is available from the ACT Government

Landlord Insurance considerations

If you have Landlord Insurance you may be able to make a claim for lost rent caused by COVID-19. However, there are some traps and you should carefully consider the terms of your policy and the impact of any actions you take.

One of the key issues you need to consider is that negotiating with a tenant and reaching mutual agreement on reduced rent will probably prevent you making a claim for the foregone rent. There may also be difficulties claiming lost rent if you don’t follow the normal processes for notifying tenants of rent arrears. The best option is to seek advice from your insurance provider. In the interests of helping tenants suffering financial hardship you should also consider whether other benefits such as land tax rebates that might be available offset lost rent or the inability to make a claim for rent you forgo.

If you are concerned about the financial impact of COVID-19 or you are facing the uncertainty of losing your job or having your income significantly reduced we can help. Sign up to MoneyBrilliant and we will give you access to a host of tools and features to help you organise your finances and make better decisions about your money. We’ll also give you tailored insights about the financial assistance available from governments and businesses to help you face the economic and financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can register for MoneyBrilliant online at www.moneybrilliant.com.au or download our app from the App Store or the Play Store.

This summary has been prepared by MoneyBrilliant Pty Ltd (AFSL 492711, ACL 493068). The information in this summary is of a factual nature only. We are not suggesting or recommending that you take any particular course of action in relation to any financial product or service. It does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. If you need financial advice or taxation advice you should seek advice from a licensed financial adviser or tax agent. You may also be able to access additional information from the websites of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the relevant product providers.

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