Covid-19 Update for landlords

As a valued landlord, I wanted to update you on what is currently happening within the rental market as we all come to terms with the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 lockdown.

You may have heard that the Victorian Government recently made a brief announcement regarding their Rent Relief Package, which is designed to offer some assistance to tenants in financial crisis due to the current pandemic.

This package still requires amendments to legislation to pass through parliament, which we believe is likely to happen in the coming week, however the new laws will retrospectively apply from 29 March 2020.

Under the new laws, tenants will not be able to stop paying the rent, but they will be entitled to:

  • apply to leave the tenancy due to financial hardship, without paying fees for breaking the lease; or
  • stay and negotiate a rent reduction with the Landlord.

Under these reforms, landlords will not be able to evict tenants for a period of 6 months, except in specific exceptional circumstances, (including where tenants damage the property, use it for criminal activity, or serious violence occurs).

Landlords will still have the same responsibilities to their tenant that currently exist under the current lease, including the requirement for carrying out repairs.

If you would like know more about these changes, you will find further information on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website

All of us at Barry Plant Brimbank Rentals are moving forwards in the current situation as we try to navigate our way through the changes with both tenants and landlords, so we are keenly awaiting further clarification on a number of these matters. Your Barry Plant Property Manager will continue to work with all tenants regarding their rental payments and update you on a case by case basis.

We will, of course, provide you with any additional updates we receive further information from Consumer Affairs Victoria or from the State Government.

In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding in this stressful time. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Property Manager for assistance.

Regards,

Sam La Spina

Rental Director