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Six month moratorium on evicting residential tenants during the coronavirus shutdown


29 March 2020 | Source: Property Observer

The Prime Minister has announced a six month moratorium on evicting residential tenants during the coronavirus shutdown.

There were no specifics in the announcement.

"Evictions will be put on hold for six months by the states and territories," the PM announced.

"Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements.

"More information was to come this week," the official update advised.

“States and Territories will be moving to put a moratorium on evictions of persons as a result of financial distress if they are unable to meet their commitments and so there would be a moratorium on evictions for the next six months under those rental arrangements,” Scott Morrison said.

The president of the REIA, Adrian Kelly said while he is very supportive of the Government's efforts, the REIA was disappointed with the simplistic approach of the Prime Minister’s message.

He suggested the PM's message "ignores the tenancy arrangement and thus raises more questions than it answers."

“Real estate agents are the middle persons who facilitate the agreement between landlords and tenants and manage it as well as the property.

“There are some 70,000 property managers, principals, real estate agents and representatives across Australia.

"Tenants don’t negotiate with landlords.

“Banks have already indicated that they are offering customers the option to defer home loan repayments for up to six months.

“We need to address the support of agents so that what the Prime Minister wants, in terms of landlords and tenants - finding a solution to get through the crisis, can be achieved.

“Estate agents will work very hard to facilitate the role between landlord and tenant, and to do this they need income.”

“I note that National Cabinet is still to consider details,” concluded Mr Kelly.

Commercial landlords have been directed by the PM Scott Morrison to "sit down" with their commercial office, retail and industrial tenants to work out how to get through the coronavirus crisis.