You’ll find here important information for residential tenants, landlords and managing agents about support that is available for tenants and landlords affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, including a freeze on evictions and assistance payments up to $4,500 for rent.
Freeze on residential evictions
A freeze on evictions (also called a moratorium) means that from 14 July to 11 November 2021, tenants who are financially impacted by COVID-19 cannot be evicted if they cannot pay their rent in full.
To be eligible as a COVID-19 impacted tenant, tenants must:
- show that rent paying members of the household are impacted by COVID-19 and have:
– lost employment, work hours or income due to COVID restrictions, or
– had to stop working because they or other members of their household (or in their care) were/are ill with COVID.
- show that the household’s take-home income has reduced by 25% or more (including any government assistance received) compared to other weekly income received in the 4 weeks before 26 June 2021
- continue to pay at least 25% of the usual rent payable.
Financial support for residential rent reduction
The Residential Tenancy Support Payment of up to $4,500 is available to help renters and their landlords meet rent payments.
Landlords who agree to reduce the rent for COVID-19 impacted tenants from 14 July 2021 can claim up to $4,500. The amount for each landlord is capped at the rent reduction that is passed onto the tenants, or $4,500, whichever is the lower.
A landlord can claim either this payment or the COVID-19 land tax benefit (which is an offset of the land tax liability equal to the rent reduction granted), but not both.
Claims can be made on the NSW Fair Trading website.
Please note, the online application process for claims up to $4,500 will be available from 24 September 2021. Until then, you can still make a claim for up to $3,000.
How to apply
A COVID-19 impacted tenant requests a reduction in rent
(Or, a landlord or agent becomes aware their tenant is in arrears because they are COVID-19 impacted)
The tenant provides reasonable evidence to show their financial impact
An agreement to reduce rent is made
A landlord or agent applies online for payment. You will need to provide:
- the rental bond number
- a copy of the agreement to reduce rent
- consent from the tenant to provide their details to Fair Trading.
The application is assessed and payment is made to the landlord or managing agent, usually within 14 days.
Important information for Managing Agents
It is important managing agents are aware of the new rules on evictions for COVID-19 impacted tenants and help to make claims for financial assistance, where appropriate.
Agents who don’t do this, may:
- be in breach of their obligations under the Property and Stock Agents Act to act in the interests of their clients, or
- negatively impact the landlord’s rights to later recovery of the premises for arrears. In proceedings for these matters, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal must consider whether a landlord has entered an arrears negotiation process and whether an application for financial assistance has been made.
More information in languages
Information on the support package, eligibility and how tenants and landlords can work together during this time is available on the NSW Fair Trading website.
You can read more information on COVID-19 support available for renters and landlords in Arabic on our website.
You can read more information on COVID-19 support available for renters and landlords in Assyrian on our website.
You can read more information on COVID-19 support available for renters and landlords in Chinese Simplified on our website.
You can read more information on COVID-19 support available for renters and landlords in Korean on our website.
You can read more information on COVID-19 support available for renters and landlords in Vietnamese on our website.