A range of tenancy support measures are now in place for ACT tenants and landlords affected by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.
The changes to the Residential Tenancy Act 1997, introduced from 22 April 2020, will help impacted landlords and private tenants reduce their risks of homelessness and financial hardship.
These changes 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;
- a relaxation on the time period for non-urgent repairs; and
- reforms to the way certain property inspections should be performed.
Changes to rent, evictions 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).
The ACT Government’s current intention is for the changes to be in place for the next 6 months.
For more information on the changes and how to access help as a tenant, landlord or real estate agent, visit the ACT Government’s COVID-19 website.