Rent relief extension to assist tenants to pay accrued debts

Relief is here for those property owners who helped tenants out whilst they were struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemicby agreeing toreduce, defer or waive rent during the emergency period.

An extension to the current rent reliefscheme, tenants will now be able to pay their rent debtdirect to property ownerswhen the emergency tenancy laws are due to end on 28March 2021.

The move by the Western Australian Government is aimed at providing an incentive for owners to maintain existing tenancies and prevent evictions when the moratorium ends.

What does this mean?

To date,more than 5,700 tenants who applied for the existing grant have been provided financial assistance amounting to $8 million of the allocated $30 million.

The unspent funds will be re-purposed to provideproperty ownerswith direct one-off payments equivalent to 75 per cent of the accrued rent arrears incurred during the emergency period, up to a maximum of $4,000. This will include any rent that wasreduced,waived or deferred during the emergency period.

Howdoes it work?

As a property owner, akey conditiononreceiving the funding is that a fixed-term tenancy agreement of six months or longer is entered into with the existing tenant at a reasonable rent that is affordable.

As a tenant, youwill be able to apply for the new grants scheme ifyou:

  • Lostyourjob or 50 per cent ofyourincome due to COVID-19 or were in receipt of a Centrelink payment (excludingJobKeeper), on or after 20 March 2020
  • Have less than $10,000 in savings
  • Pay more than 25 per cent ofyourincome in rent perweek
  • Areatenant or sub-tenant in a private residential property, rooming house orresidential park
  • Have a tenancy agreement in place asof the1December2020
  • Incurred thedebt before1December 2020; andHave a bond lodged with the Bond Administrator.

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