NEWS

Renters' Guide to COVID-19

Published on 25/05/2020

This guide covers common questions about renting during Coronavirus COVID-19 in NSW.

The Tenants' Union of NSW is working hard to keep this information as up to date as possible. We'll be regularly adding to and amending the guide as things change. The legal information provided here does not constitute legal advice. Always, seek advice from your local Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service about your options – tenants.org.au/get-advice.

The Renters' Guide to COVID-19 has been developed to provide legal information about situations that may arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It should be read alongside and in addition to the legal information and resources provided on your legal rights and obligations in our general tenancy fact sheets.

On 15 April 2020, the NSW government introduced a 6-month moratorium on evictions – for some tenants.

The moratorium is in two stages and applies to tenants who have suffered a reduction of 25% or more in their weekly household income due to COVID-19 and are struggling to meet their rent payments.

The first stage of the moratorium, which ended on 13 June 2020, prevented tenants who were financially impacted by COVID-19 from being evicted on the basis of rent arrears.

During the second stage of the moratorium, tenancies may be terminated on the basis of rent arrears caused by COVID-19 if tenants and landlords have failed in their formal negotiations for a rent reduction and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) decides it is ‘fair and reasonable’ based on the circumstances of the case.

The NSW moratorium on evictions ends on 15 October 2020 unless extended.

The moratorium does not apply to social housing tenants. If you are a social housing tenant please see COVID Guide: 'Social Housing'.

Not in NSW? See services around Australia

Contents

  • Renters' Guide to COVID-19 home
  • Eviction
    • I am a COVID-19 'impacted tenant'...
    • I am NOT a COVID-19 'impacted tenant'...
    • What if I am not yet behind in my rent?
    • Eviction for other reasons
  • Rent, rent reduction, and support
    • Am I a COVID-19 'impacted tenant'?
    • What support is available if I have lost income?
    • What should I do if I can’t pay my full rent?
    • What if I get a rent increase?
  • Rent negotiations
    • What are 'good faith' negotiations?
    • What is a 'fair and reasonable' offer?
    • What information needs to be shared in negotiation?
    • What can I expect in a negotiation?
    • The role of the agent
    • What if the landlord won't negotiate?
    • Formal Rent Negotiation Process – facilitated by Fair Trading
  • How do I end my tenancy agreement?
    • How do I end my tenancy agreement?
    • Can I end my tenancy due to hardship?
  • Moving house and the distancing rules
  • Do I need to provide access?
    • Can the landlord continue with inspections, including open homes?
    • Do I have to give access for repairs?
    • Key health guidelines
  • Tribunal proceedings
    • Tribunal proceedings during COVID-19
    • Eviction hearings
    • Urgent hearings
  • Tenant databases and ‘blacklists’
  • Social housing: Public, community and affordable housing
    • Will my rent go up due to increasing social support payments?
    • Can I be evicted?
    • Cleaning and maintenance
    • What if I live in 'affordable housing'?
  • International students
    • I am affected by the travel ban. What can I do?
    • I need help finding temporary accommodation
    • Other useful information and support
  • Share houses, boarders and lodgers
    • The eviction moratorium in Boarding Houses
    • Living in share housing
  • Templates and forms
    • Request a Rent Reduction Template Letter
    • Rent Variation Agreement
    • Letter to initiate rent reduction negotiations (NSW Fair Trading)
    • Complaint Form (NSW Fair Trading)
    • Template agreement – End tenancy and payment plan
    • Tribunal Application Form (NCAT)
    • Financial Statement (NCAT)
  • Other useful info
    • Community languages
    • Mutual aid
    • Domestic violence
    • Mental health
    • Homelessness
    • Speaking up and campaigning

 

 

Community languages

The Tenants' Union has also produced a short factsheet in 7 community languages summarising renters' rights during COVID-19. The factsheet has information on paying rent, evictions, the rules on access to rented properties for getting repairs done, inspections for sale of premises, and other issues that renters are facing.