Struggling to pay rent

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06 May 2020

In late March, the National Cabinet agreed to a six-month moratorium on commercial and residential evictions. The NSW Government introduced a Rental Relief Plan for those who can prove their income has been cut by 25 per cent (30 per cent for commercial leases) due to COVID-19.

You're eligible if you are a rent-paying member of a household and you've lost, or had a reduction in, employment or income as a result of COVID-19. You may also be eligible if you've had to stop work or reduce hours due to illness with COVID-19 or you're caring for someone with the virus.

According to NSW Fair Trading, renters will be protected by a 60-day ban on eviction notices. Landlords are expected to negotiate rent reductions with tenants "in good faith". If you can't reach an agreement the landlord can issue a termination notice and apply for an eviction notice with the NSW Consumer and Administration Tribunal (NCAT).

If your landlord asks for proof of income less, you only need to supply proof of job termination or being stood down, proof of government income support or proof or prior income. Landlords cannot ask for bank statements or other personal information.

At the end of the COVID-19 crisis, tenants in NSW may be required to pay back any amount of rent that has been reduced.

Contact the Tenants Union for more information. The Central Coast Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service can be contacted on 4353 5515.