- Posted By Prince Lakshman
With Victoria as the latest COVID-19 hotspot, the moratorium on evictions and rent hikes for those experiencing hard times due to the pandemic has been extended until December 31.
The ban on evictions would continue to take effect for both residential and commercial tenants with exceptions only “in rare and specific circumstances”.
Residential and commercial landlords would also benefit from further land tax relief and grant funding provided they are offering support to struggling tenants amid the new restrictions in Victoria.
Landlords who provided “outright rent waivers” of at least 50 per cent for at least three months would now be eligible for an additional 25 per cent land tax relief, on top of the 25 per cent already on offer, he said.
Eligible residential tenants and landlords would be supported with up to $3000 in rental payments as part of the Rental Relief Grant program. And a $60m fund would also be established to gift eligible small commercial landlords up to $3000 per tenancy.
In brief, the added measures announced to support both tenants and landlords include:
• Extending the temporary ban on evictions and rental increases for both residential and commercial tenants until December 31.
• Creating a Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund to pay up to $3,000 per tenancy for small commercial landlords
• Rental Relief Grant payments increased to $3,000 for eligible residential tenants
• Extension of the Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Scheme until 31 December 2020.
• Land tax discount doubled from 25 to 50 per cent for landlords who provide a 50% or more outright rent waiver of at least 3 months’ rent.
• $600,000 funding for advocacy groups that work with vulnerable tenants
Another big change means commercial landlords are now required to provide rent relief “in proportion” with tenants’ drop in turnover when negotiating rental reductions.