The tenancy support measures available to ACT tenants and landlords affected by the COVID-19 have been extended to 22 October 2020 in line with the ACT Government’s commitment to provide a 6 month moratorium on rent arrears evictions for COVID-19 impacted tenants. The eviction moratorium and other associated measures are designed to help impacted landlords and tenants reduce their risks of homelessness and financial hardship.
On 22 July, a new measure has also been introduced, allowing COVID-19 impacted tenants in fixed term tenancies to terminate their agreements early without penalty. To do this, the tenant will need to provide their landlord with 3 weeks written notice of their intention to vacate, along with evidence that they are COVID-19 impacted. If a tenant is in rent arrears at the time their tenancy ends (or owes money for property damage) this will still be a debt owing to their landlord.
The measures for those impacted by COVID-19 include:
- applying rebates to land tax and rates bills if landlords reduce rent for tenants suffering financial hardship which is directly related to COVID-19;
- prohibiting landlords from evicting people who cannot afford to pay their rent because they have been financially impacted by COVID-19;
- preventing ‘blacklisting’ of COVID-19 impacted tenants by real estate agents;
- allowing COVID-19 impacted tenants in fixed term tenancies to terminate their agreements early without penalty;
- a relaxation on the time period for non-urgent repairs for all tenancies; and
- reforms to the way certain property inspections should be performed for all households.
Changes to rent, evictions, early termination and ‘blacklisting’ will only apply to households that can provide evidence that their income has been significantly reduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (such as proof of eligibility for JobSeeker or JobKeeper payment).
More information on the changes and how to access help as a tenant is available here.
More information on the changes and how to access help as a landlord or real estate agent is available here.