It is hard to believe we are approaching the 6 month mark of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Period!
As no doubt you will remember, the original announcement made that we all knew was going to impact us in the residential property market – for Landlords, Tenants and Property Managers – was the Federal Government announcement on 29 March that there would be a 6 month ‘Moratorium on Evictions’.
As the end of the period approaches, our industry awaits the updates to the Legislation. What we do know is that the regulations will be amended, and we do anticipate more changes. So, at this stage we find ourselves once again in a situation where government announcements have been made, prior to the legislation release – as of course is unavoidable during these times.
What has confused many is that the moratorium on evictions ends on 29 September 2020, but the RTRA Act (Covid-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 expires on 31 December 2020.
This means that after 29 September 2020, some regulations will still apply, and some will not. As above, we are also anticipating further changes.
For now, we report what we do know.
At this stage, Queensland is the only Australian state that has not extended its ban on evictions past the original 6 month deadline of 29 September 2020.
You can find information on what will and what won’t change (current as at today’s date) directly on the RTA Website – https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/the-hub/covid-19-tenancy-update
The below is sourced directly from the above link for you:
COVID-19 tenancy update
The Queensland Government acted quickly to legislate its COVID-19 response for residential tenancies.
We implemented the National Cabinet agreed 6-month moratorium for rent arrears caused by COVID-19 impacts between 29 March and 29 September 2020.
Changes from 30 September 2020
We are transitioning back towards normal residential tenancy arrangements.
Queensland is in a strong position thanks to the early actions taken to manage COVID-19 health risks. We will continue to be guided by health advice and directions to determine whether any future actions will be required.
What will change
The six-month eviction moratorium, and measures implemented to support it, will cease to apply after 29 September 2020, including:
- fixed term agreement extensions for COVID-19 impacted tenants
- ending agreement provisions that prevent property owners ending tenancies with COVID-19 impacted tenants without grounds and provide additional grounds for parties to end tenancies (owner occupation and sale of premises which require vacant possession)
- adjusted rent and bond processes that support parties to negotiate arrangements to manage COVID-19 impacts on their tenancies
- mandatory conciliation of COVID-19 related tenancy disputes through the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).
What will continue
Other protections will continue to apply until 31 December 2020, including:
- provisions allowing tenants experiencing domestic and family violence to end their tenancies quickly
- protections for tenants against being listed in a tenancy database for rent arrears caused by COVID-19 impacts
- limits on reletting costs for eligible tenants who end their fixed term tenancies early
- short term tenancy statement extensions for moveable dwellings
- entry restrictions and requirements to support COVID-19 social distancing measures
- relaxed repair and maintenance obligations.
Tenants and property owners should continue negotiating adjustments to manage any COVID-19 impacts on their residential tenancy arrangements.
The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) free dispute resolution service is available to help parties reach agreement and resolve issues, including about rent and ending agreements.
Help and advice
If you need help with your tenancy, talk to the RTA:
- call 134 COVID (13 42 68) for our 24/7 hotline
- call 1300 366 311, 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
- visit the Residential Tenancies Authority website
Our Housing Service Centres can provide housing assistance:
- read about bond loans, rental grants and other products and services
- call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) to make an appointment with a RentConnect officer
- contact your nearest Housing Service Centre.
Support for mental health
- Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Find support services and helplines
- Tips to improve your mental wellbeing
Frequently asked questions
- Is a notice to leave or notice of intention to leave issued under the additional grounds before 29 September 2020 still valid?
- What happens to a tenancy variation agreement after 29 September 2020?
- What process applies to unpaid rent that accrued between 29 March and 29 September 2020?
- What process applies to unpaid rent accrued after 29 September 2020?
- What happens if I lodged a dispute resolution request with the RTA before 29 September 2020 and it has not been finalised?
- What help is there for tenants to move if they can’t afford the bond and 2 weeks rent in advance?
- What help is available for tenants struggling to find a property to rent in the private market?
- Can a tenant be evicted if they can’t pay their rent due to COVID-19 impacts?
- Can the tenant refuse physical entry? What about for emergency repairs or maintenance?
- The tenant is under extreme hardship and wants to break the lease. Do they have to pay break lease costs?
- What if the tenant is COVID-19 impacted and their tenancy agreement is due to end before the eviction moratorium ends on 29 September 2020?
- What advice is there for property owners who are worried about not receiving enough rent to cover bills?
- What mortgage relief can property owners access?
Last updated: 16 September 2020
As always, we welcome any questions you have. If you’d like to learn more about the latest news for Landlords and Tenants and would like to discuss rental property management , with a property manager Brisbane Please Contact us and a member from our team will be in touch shortly.
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