Short-term moratorium on evictions extended to 11 November 2021, with a transition period ending on 12 February 2022
The temporary stop on evictions for COVID-impacted renters in NSW who have lost significant income and cannot pay rent in full has been extended, with some exceptions.
In June 2021, the NSW government announced a 60 day stop on evictions for COVID-impacted renters who have lost significant income and cannot pay rent in full.
This ‘eviction freeze’ has now been extended to 11 November 2021, and will be followed by a transition period ending on 12 February 2022.
Who is covered by the eviction moratorium?
To be protected from eviction during the moratorium, tenants need to:
- be a member of a household impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- notify their landlord that they are impacted; and
- continue to pay at least 25% of the rent.
- “Household” means any tenants or other people living together in the same residential premises.
“Impacted” means a household has lost at least 25% of its income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is calculated by averaging the household’s income over the 4 weeks immediately before the start of the current lockdown (26th June 2021)
What is the moratorium transitional period?
Impacted tenants may be protected from eviction but continue to build up significant rent arrears during the moratorium. From the end of the moratorium until 12th February 2022, tenants cannot be evicted because of arrears accrued during the moratorium.
There are some exceptions to this where tenants have not kept up with repayment plan agreed with their landlord, or have not been able to reach an agreement after going through formal rent negotiations.
What should impacted tenants do?
Tenants should notify their landlords that they are impacted and discuss options for reducing the rent. Provide evidence and put any agreement about the rent into writing. There is a form on NSW Fair Trading’s website.
NSW Fair Trading is able to assist with formal rent negotiations. Tenants and landlords are encouraged to negotiate about waiving (not just deferring) rent payments.
The NSW Government has announced increased incentives to encourage landlords to provide rent relief by reducing rent or waiving arrears. Up to $4,500 per tenancy will now be available for landlords who agree to reduce rent for COVID-19 impacted tenants. The amount for each landlord will be capped at the rent reduction that is passed onto the tenants, or $4,500, whichever is the lower. Landlords who have already claimed up to $1,500 or $3,000 will be able to make a further claim for reduced rent up to a total of $4,500.
Tenants may need to consent to some of their details being shared with NSW Fair Trading in order for their landlord to access these payments.
For updates and resources, refer to the sources listed below.
This information is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have a problem, contact RLC or your local tenants' advocacy service.
Renters' Guide to COVID-19 (Tenants' Union of NSW [TUNSW])
Stop on evictions and financial supports for impacted renters (TUNSW, 13 July 2021)
New short term moratorium on evictions (Fair Trading, July 2021)
COVID-19 Disaster Payment (Service NSW)