Evictions During Covid-19 Reforms
Written on the 11 March 2021
The real estate and property industry reforms, which began on 23 March 2020, included transitional arrangements for the COVID-19 Rental Moratorium Measures due to expire on 26 March.
In 2020 the NSW government implemented measures to restrict landlords' powers, where they where unable to evict tenants due to rental arrears that where directly related to Covid-19. The restrictions where set to expire on the 15th of October 2020 but have since been extended till 26 march 2021.
The measures put in place by NSW Government included:
Rent reduction negotiations will need to be addressed prior to landlords evicting tenants that suffer from financial hardship due to Covid-19.
Other lease termination reasons have had notice periods extended.
Tenants have the option to terminate a tenancy agreement if they are financially disadvantaged during Covid-19 and the landlord does not wish to negotiate. It can also be terminated where it is necessary to avoid financial hardship.
Landlords can terminate tenancy agreements in cases of undue hardship. Prior to this the landlords will be required to prove that they have negotiated with tenants in good faith and can only provide a termination order if it is fair and reasonable to do so.
Fair trading provides a service for disputes where the objection is to provide tenants and landlord with the opportunity to reach an agreement.
If landlords are suffering from undue hardship, they can apply to the tribunal to attain possession of their property.
For all tenants not affected by Covid-19 are expected to continue servicing the rental and all charges in full.
This Moratorium will be concluding on the 26th of March 2021. Considering how the real estate market is currently fairing, renters might be in luck with the current supply of rental properties available to them but this will be short term, as the value of houses rise many potential buyers may be pushed into the rental market until prices become more affordable.
With the lifestyle change created by Covid-19, many renters are in the hunt for a larger more accommodating property, this has in turn increased demand for larger properties where tenants are looking to upsize with the mobile home office becoming more common.
Source: NSW Fair Trading