The Tenants’ Union has lots of up to date information for tenants:
SUPRA has been assisting many international students with tenancy matters related to the impacts of Covid-19. Here are the answers to the most common questions.
From 15 April 2020 there has been a 60 day stop on evictions if you fall behind in your rent because of financial hardship caused by Covid-19. You must be able to show that:
Find out more about eligibility and the process.
If you need a rent reduction, the landlord must enter into good faith negotiations. If you do negotiate a rent reduction, make sure you get it in writing.
Legally the landlord can’t ask you for this information. But, if you do provide proof of your loss of income such as payslips, or bank statements, it might help with negotiations.
Landlords can’t tell you to access your superannuation to cover the rent. They can only make you aware of the Government’s early Superannuation Access scheme. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
From 14 May 2020 tenants who can’t negotiate a rent reduction with their landlord can seek to terminate their lease through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
If a termination order is made under the relevant law, compensation (a break fee) may be payable to the landlord of not more than two weeks rent.
See the NCAT website for more details, and for how to make an application to NCAT.
If you’re in a periodic (or ongoing) agreement, you still need to give 21 days notice. If you’re in a fixed term agreement, you’ll need to break the lease.
You’ll need to pay the break fee or compensation for breaking the lease early but try and negotiate with the landlord. If you think you might need to break your lease, contact SUPRA for advice before you take any action.
If you’re still behind in your rent, the landlord can issue a 14-day termination notice because of rental arrears. But they can only do this if they followed all the steps in the process and it is fair and reasonable.
If your household income was affected by Covid-19, you don’t have to leave. The landlord will need to go to NCAT for an order.
If you receive a notice from your landlord, contact SUPRA for advice.
The changes don’t waive the landlord’s right to ask you to pay the waived rent after the 60 days. When negotiating with your landlord, try and work this in to your agreement.
For the 6 months from 15 April 2020, you can’t be listed on a tenancy database (‘blacklisted’) if the listing is for rent arrears which happened because you were financially impacted by Covid-19.
If you’re not an impacted tenant, you could be listed on a tenancy database for up to 3 years.
Find out more about what you need to know about renting and Covid-19.
Find out more about the laws that prevent tenants being evicted during the Covid-19 pandemic.
SUPRA can provide advice and assistance with tenancy and other Covid-19 related problems.
Updated: 20 May 2020