Inner west tenants and landlords have been left in the lurch by the NSW Government’s rental package, with only 16% of landlords covered by land tax relief measures and tenants who have lost their livelihoods through Covid-19 lumped with potentially huge debt bombs through rent deferrals.
Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill, will fight to expand protections for tenants and landlords when Parliament returns to debate the package next month.
“The eviction moratorium is good news for tenants, but the Government needs to provide immediate financial support if it’s serious about helping landlords and keeping tenants in their homes,” said Ms Haylen.
“Other states are providing direct financial support to tenants impacted by Covid-19 including $2000 rent relief grants.
“It’s unclear whether the package supports tenants without a written lease agreement and the process by which tenants and landlords can negotiate rent arrangements is as clear as mud.”
NSW Labor is calling on the Government to:
- Immediately implement an eviction moratorium for tenants financially impacted by COVID-19;
- Establish a rental hardship fund;
- Put a temporary stop on lease break fees for people financially impacted by COVID-19; and
- Clarify how landlords and tenants in properties that fall below the land tax threshold will be supported financially.
Labor has previously called for the Residential Tenancy Act to be amended to ban so-called no-grounds evictions. Under the current package, landlords may still be able to evict a tenant using this mechanism.
“The Government’s package fails renters and landlords alike. We need to urgently debate and reform this package to give people the certainty they need,” said Ms Haylen.
Tenants impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Marrickville Legal Centre for help by calling 9559 2899.