As the world has been facing an unfolding health crisis brought by the novel coronavirus, Australia is also witnessing new and difficult challenges every day to combat this situation and keep the rate of COVID-19 cases as low as possible. The state governments, like Western Australia, have imposed strict guidelines, such as lockdown, social distancing, face mask compulsion and much more to stop the spread of this virus.
However, the lockdown due to pandemic has impacted the people’s lives as many have lost their jobs while most of the tenants don’t have money to pay monthly rents. The residential tenancy market in Western Australia is under great threat because of COVID-19 outbreak. This has increased the rate of rental disputes between landlords and tenants across Perth.
If you are moving out of your rented premises in the middle of the health emergency, it is recommended to avoid it until the situation gets normal. If you don’t have an option, then hire the best removalists in Perth who can offer you a safe and secure removal service in coronavirus phase. Before moving out, make sure you thoroughly clean the property to pass the inspection and get the bond back without any rental dispute.
However, if you want to extend your lease or want some rebate but your landlord disagrees on this, then have a look at the new COVID-19 Rental Laws in Perth introduced by WA Government.
New Residential Tenancy Laws – COVID-19 Response
Some temporary amendments have been issued by the Western Australia government that will help you know everything about your rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new or modernised Residential Tenancies ACT 2020 (COVID-19 Response) will guide residential tenancies, accommodation agreements, and long-stay lease agreements during this bad phase. The amendments will help in reducing the disputes over residential tenancies and support both the parties.
The Act enables landlords and tenants to sign rent repayment agreements where the tenant has not paid rent or has paid reduced rent during this pandemic. Consumer Protection can also help you if they want to negotiate a rent repayment agreement.
However, it is imperative for both parties to carefully read the information about this ACT before signing the agreement as it complies some terms, such as a landlord cannot claim interest on unpaid rent, etc. You can also end up your lease and move to the new place after resolving all your disputes. Make sure you plan things ahead and hire the most experienced removalists in Perth.
Tip: It is important to know that landlords and tenants don’t have to enter into a formal arrangement because the provisions of this Act only applies to unpaid rental rent- whether both parties have something in written or not.
Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service
The Western Australia Government introduced the Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service to support those tenants and landlord who are facing rental issues in the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help both parties to reach an agreement about a relevant rental dispute without even getting into the legal procedure.
The main objective of conciliation service is to reach a fair solution for both parties via informal discussion. However, for that, you need to show evidence, such as a letter from your employer, records of your company, salary slips if you are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
You can also show the evidence if the work hours reduced due to COVID-19 illness or taking care of a family member with this disease, or has had to home quarantine due to health issues. Make sure you meet the criteria and show all possible evidence to resolve the tenancy issue.
The conciliator may ask you to submit information related to your lease and relevant dispute. If your tenancy is affected due to COVID-19 and needs to negotiate a rent repayment agreement, apply for the residential tenancies mandatory conciliation service.
First, both parties are encouraged to agree on outcomes together. For that, you need to reach an agreement with your landlord. If you fail in doing you, then you can submit your rental dispute to the mandatory conciliation services. You and your landlord can view the Consumer Protection Guidelines for rent repayment agreement and apply without seeking any legal advice.
If you reach an agreement and planning a move-out, consider hiring trained and experienced removalists in Perth who strictly follow precautionary guidelines and protect your belongings from damages throughout the process.
Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme
Are you living in a rental property in Perth? Are you facing financial hardship due to lockdown and pandemic situation? Then, you should know everything about the residential rent relief Grant Scheme. The State Government is financial support those tenants who lost their jobs on or after 20 March 2020 or are not financially stable due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The scheme is worth $ 30 million for grants of up to $ 2,000 for WA residential tenants.
Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria before applying for the Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme. It is important to submit your evidence that helps the government to decide whether your residential tenancy affected by COVID-19 or not.
Eligibility Criteria for the Grant
• You can apply for the grant if you meet the following eligibility criteria:
• If you are a tenant or sub-tenant in a rental residential property
• You stay in Perth or any other regional city in Western Australia and permitted to live and work in this Country.
• If you have lodged a tenancy bond with the Bond Administrator
• If you are in financial hardship, such as unable to pay monthly rents or lost job in the COVID-19 pandemic or self-isolated due to health vulnerabilities. The criteria for financial hardship is:
(a) If you have lost your job on or after 20th March 2020 due to health emergency
(b) You have less than $ 10,000 of personal savings
(c) You pay 25 % or more of your current after-tax income in rent/ a week.
How to Apply for the Grant?
The process is simple. You need to fill the online form which is open until 29th September 2020. If you meet all your eligibility criteria for the grant, you can apply it online. It is good to prepare evidence and everything that can help you get the grant with ease.
Make sure you provide the name and contact details of your landlord or the real estate manager. However, you don’t need to attach any documentation in support of your initial application, but you may be asked to prove your genuine problem related to residential tenancy.
Determination of the Amount of Rent Relief
The grant is paid directly to the landlord and will be equivalent to a monthly rent up to a maximum of $2,000. This will reduce the financial burden of the tenant, but it is important to ensure that your landlord must compensate the grant amount against the rent. You can apply for the grant and the grant will be transferred to the landlord account. Make sure both the parties must agree to the Terms and Condition before the grant is paid.
The best part about this grant is that it will not have to be repaid either by you or your landlord. So, make sure you both negotiate the amount of grant before applying online to leverage the benefit of this scheme.
Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, you must know everything about the new COVID-19 Rent laws in Perth, WA. The complete guide mentioned above in the article will help you get information about the changes to the WA Residential Tenancies Act, Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service and Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme.
If you are ending your lease and moving to a new place, do not forget to contact the best removalists in Perth for a safe and sound transition of your precious possessions.
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