NSW rent support measures
14 April 2020 - Julia Yassa
Over the weekend, the NSW Government announced that it will put $440 million towards rent relief, in the form of land tax waivers or rebates (Support Package), to protect commercial and residential tenants impacted by COVID-19 from eviction.
The key characteristics of the Support Package include:
a moratorium on applications for residential evictions due to rental arrears for households financially impacted by the pandemic (this applies where a household has lost at least 25% of its income because of COVID-19);
residential tenants and landlords must negotiate in good faith, and tenants will be protected from eviction until the National Civil and Administrative Tribunal is satisfied negotiations have concluded;
landlords who are eligible for and receive a land tax waiver or rebate (up to 25%) must pass the saving on to their tenants;
the measures will apply to commercial tenants with a turnover of less than $50 million who suffer a drop in revenue by at least 30% because of COVID-19; and
commercial tenants affected by COVID-19 and their landlords must negotiate by applying the principles set out in the mandatory code of conduct announced by the Prime Minister (you can find a summary of these principles in our earlier article here).
At this stage, the Support Package has only been announced by the state government, and legislation has not yet been introduced. The state government has said it will introduce legislation as soon as possible to give effect to the Support Package and the federal government’s code of conduct.