An ACT Government scheme that offers a land tax rebate for landlords who reduce their tenant’s rent by at least 25 per cent will be extended for another three months and will now run until December.
The rebate on land tax and general rates will match half of the reduction in rent to a maximum of $2600 over six months, or $100 a week.
More than 750 landlords have applied for the scheme as of 13 August, the ACT Government confirmed.
“We understand this is a difficult time for many Canberrans, particularly those who have suffered a significant reduction in their income,” said ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay.
“We are pleased so many landlords are taking advantage of these rebates so Canberrans who are struggling financially are not left without a home.
“However, I want to remind people that this is not a licence for tenants to completely forgo their rental obligations. If you are not impacted financially by COVID-19 and can pay your rent, then you are required to do so.”
The ACT Government also extended a moratorium on evictions in the Territory under financial duress due to COVID-19 until 22 October; has temporarily frozen rental increases; and prevented the ‘blacklisting’ of tenants who are unable to pay rent.
“In addition to the moratorium on evictions for rental arrears, a COVID-19 impacted household can now terminate their agreement by providing their landlord with three weeks’ notice and evidence they have been impacted by COVID-19,” said Mr Ramsay.
“In these circumstances, tenants will not be charged a break-lease fee or be required to pay additional compensation. However, if they have fallen into rent arrears during the tenancy, this money would still be owed as a debt to their landlord.”
For information about tenant and landlord rights, and obligations during this period, visit the ACT Government’s COVID-19 fact sheet.
Tenants who need legal advice in relation to their living situation can also contact ACT Legal Aid on 1300 654 634.