ACT tenants struggling with the pandemic’s economic fallout have been given longer protection from eviction or support to move house if necessary.
The ACT Government has announced that transitional measures to support affected tenants have been extended to 30 April 2021, another three months.
This the second extension, following the first announced in September.
Since 23 October 2020, transitional measures have protected COVID-19 impacted tenants from being evicted on the basis of debt accrued during the eviction moratorium period, as long as they pay their rent as it falls due during the transition period.
If they cannot pay rent as it falls due, the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal will be required to consider ordering a payment plan rather than an eviction.
The transitional measures also allow COVID-19-impacted tenants in fixed-term leases to end their leases early and without penalty if they need to move due to a change in their circumstances.
The government is also supporting landlords who have reduced rent for tenants impacted by COVID-19 by at least 25 per cent, through land tax and rates rebates available for the period to 30 June 2021.
Agents will still be barred from listing personal information about a tenant who hasn’t paid rent during the moratorium period.
Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said it had been a challenging year for Canberra renters who may be struggling to make ends meet.
“This announcement will give tenants and landlords greater certainty this Christmas period and ensure tenants will be given more time and support to stay in their homes,” he said.
The ACT Government has worked to support tenants, first through a six-month moratorium on evictions for rental arrears, and now through extended transitional assistance.
For more information about the measures, visit JACS.