Steps for tenants impacted by COVID-19

This flowchart summarises the steps that you may take if you are a renter impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Tap on the headings below to expand each section (better for mobile), or download the pdf here.

Please note that this chart is an overview. For more detail see the full contents of the Renters' Guide to COVID-19

Steps for tenants impacted by COVID-19 flowchart

 

Having trouble paying rent because impacted by COVID-19?

 

Having trouble paying rent because affected by COVID-19
A COVID-19 impacted tenant who requires rent relief should contact the landlord as soon as possible to try and negotiate, in good faith. In general, ‘good faith' negotiation means parties dealing honestly and fairly with one another to genuinely work towards a mutually beneficial agreement in a timely manner. See COVID-19 Guide: Rent, rent reduction and support 

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Write to the landlord/agent about a rent reduction
See the Rent Reduction Sample Letter

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No response or unsatisfactory response | Rent reduction agreement reached - get it in writing

See the Rent Variation Sample Agreement

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Write to the landlord/agent and request that they engage in the NSW Fair Trading Formal Rent Negotiation Process
See below for more information on the Formal Rent Negotiation Process.

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No response within 7 days | Start the Formal Negotiation Process*

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Do you want to end your tenancy?

 

Do you want to end your tenancy?

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Yes | No

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What sort of tenancy agreement do you have? | Start the Formal Negotiation Process*

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Fixed-term agreement | Periodic (ongoing) agreement
See also COVID-19 Guide: How do I end my tenancy? and Factsheet 09: You want to leave 

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Apply to the Tribunal for early termination | Issue a termination notice to your landlord, giving 21 days notice

An early termination application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal comes under section 228C or section 104. Get advice from your local Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service on applying to the Tribunal. See also COVID-19 Guide: How do I end my tenancy?

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Attend Tribunal hearing to end tenancy without a break fee or reduced break fee
See COVID-19 Guide: Tribunal Proceedings and Factsheet 11: NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Note: Until your tenancy agreement has ended, you should continue to pay whatever you can afford to pay in rent during this time and speak to a financial counsellor to prepare a plan in support of your case during your negotiations.

 

*NSW Fair Trading Formal Rent Negotiation process

 

Start the NSW Fair Trading Formal Negotiation Process using the online application form

If you have attempted to negotiate a rent reduction without success you can apply to NSW Fair Trading for assistance with the negotiations by using this form.
For more info, see COVID-19 Guide: Rent negotiations.

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Wait for a response from NSW Fair Trading

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Attend the Formal Rent Negotiation Process
See COVID-19 Guide: Rent negotiations

 

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Were the formal negotiations successful?

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Yes | No

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Rent reduction agreement reached - get it in writing | If you are unable to continue your tenancy, consider your options for exiting your tenancy early
See the Rent Variation Sample Agreement or 'Do you want to end your tenancy?' above.