Residential tenancy changes during the COVID-19 emergency period
A number of changes have been made to residential tenancies in Tasmania under the COVID-19 Disease (Emergency Provisions) Act 2020.
- Temporary suspension of evictions in most circumstances;
- Immediate halt to any increases in rent;
- Ability to reduce rent by mutual agreement;
- Applications to break a lease due to severe hardship;
- Limited property inspections;
- Delays in evictions due to rent in arrears;
- Minor changes to responsibility for cleanliness and damage if the tenant is unable to do so due to COVID-19. For example, if a tenant is moving out of a property and is unable to get a commercial company to clean the carpets because of lockdown restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tasmanian Government has extended the COVID-19 emergency period for residential tenancies to 31 January 2021 . This means some protections initially put in place for residential tenants during the pandemic, and due to expire on 1 December have been extended to 31 January 2021.
See the Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS) website for more information.
COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund
The Tasmanian Government is providing rent relief for residential households who rent homes in the private market and who are experiencing housing stress because of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund was established in May 2020 to assist tenants suffering from extreme hardship, with support of up to $2,000 or four weeks rent available.
Tenants who have already received financial help to pay their rent can apply for a second or third rental extra support payment if their circumstances have not changed.
A Landlord Support fund has also been established for landlords suffering from financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Landlords can now apply for a second round of financial help from the Landlord Extra Support Fund.
The Support Funds are available until 31 January 2021.
For more information, go to the Communities Tasmania website.