Coronavirus rental assistance package in the works, ScoMo announces

The Australian Government has announced new measures to protect tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to coronavirus. New legislation is set to be introduced that will protect individuals for up to six months during the crisis.

In a press conference this afternoon Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the plan, stating that state governments are currently developing measures to safeguard residents until September 2020 at least.

Scott Morrison

PM Scott Morrison has announced that State Governments are currently making arrangements to protect tenants from eviction under a new coronavirus package.

“All Australians are going to be making sacrifices obviously in the months ahead, and everyone does have that role to play, and that will include landlords at the end of the day,” Morrison said. How this package will be rolled out to tenants is still under development by officials, however the dire situation that Australia’s employment landscape is currently facing indicates that the decision will have to be made quickly.

“(States are) working to identify how relief can be provided for tenants in both commercial tenancies and residential tenancies, to ensure that in hardship conditions, there will be relief that will be available, and ensuring that tenancy legislation is protecting those tenants over the next six months at least,” Morrison added.

“That work will be done by states and territories … to bring back some model rules that can be applied in hardship cases. So, understanding what the trigger might be and how in those circumstances the tenants would be able to maintain their tenancies.”

Researchers from ANU have predicted that the virus could put half a million Australian jobs at risk, with massive cuts already being made across several industries. Certain countries, such as Denmark, have already frozen rent and mortgage repayments until the virus passes, as well as covering 90 percent of citizens’ wages (or up to $6000 per month).

More details of the Morrison Government’s plan to compensate landlords is yet to come.