Renters' Guide to COVID-19

Published on 25/05/2020

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. This guide 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.

The Tenants' Union of NSW is working hard to keep this information as up to date as possible. We regularly add to and amend 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.

Have you recently been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

On 14 July 2021, the NSW Government has introduced a 60-day eviction ban for tenants who have recently been affected by COVID-19 pandemic. This has now been extended for an additional 2 months. 

If your household income has reduced due to COVID-19 by at least 25% compared to the average weekly household income for 4 weeks from 29 May 2021, then you are considered 'impacted' by the recent outbreak and will be exempted from termination because of rental arrears if: 1) you give notice to your landlord that you are an impacted tenant and 2) you continue to pay at least 25% of your weekly rent.

This protection is in place until 11 November 2021.

The Government also announced that it will provide financial incentive to landlords who provide tenants with a rent reduction from 14 July 2021. 

Did you accrue rental arrears before 26/3/2021?

If so, and your household income has reduced by at least 25% per week because of COVID-19 in the period 15 April 2020 to 26 March 2021, you are considered an 'impacted tenant' and your landlord is prohibited from giving you a 90 days no grounds termination notice (s85), or giving you a termination notice for rental arrears, or taking you to the Tribunal for termination because of non-payment of rent unless they have agreed to a repayment plan or have participated in good faith repayment negotiations facilitated by Fair Trading. Further, your landlord must not list you on a tenant database because of the arrears accrued during the first wave of the pandemic.

These transitional measures are in place until 26 September 2021 and beyond that for the prohibition on database listing.

The transitional measures are outlined in the guide. See also our infosheet summarising the measures in place from 26/3/2021 – 26/9/2021.

The April 2020 to March 2021 Moratorium period

On 15 April 2020, the NSW government introduced a moratorium on evictions – for some tenants. The NSW Moratorium Period (15 April 2020 to 26 March 2021) ended on 26 March 2021. The Moratorium Period rules will continue to apply to notices of termination, or proceedings in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) which arose on or before 26 March 2021.

Timeline summary of Moratorium periods and tenancy protections over 2020-2021

See also our summary times of the different moratorium periods and tenancy protections over 2020-2021

Click to enlarge/download

More info

Renters who are not subject to the transitional measures, should refer to our normal factsheets and resources at

The COVID-19 tenancy protections do not apply to social housing tenants. If you are a social housing tenant please see COVID Guide: Social housing.

To get advice call your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy service, or the Tenants' Union Advice Line. The Tenant's Union has increased the hours of our Advice Line to provide more help for renters impacted by COVID-19. The Advice Line now operates 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm, Monday-Friday. You can call the Advice Line on 1800 251 101. 

Not in NSW? See services around Australia.