Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme

Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme expanded

The Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme, introduced in 2020, has expanded to offer future rent support for tenants who are struggling financially to meet rent payments after the end of the emergency period. Grants are capped at $2,000 per tenancy.

Rent arrears assistance grants are also still available to help tenants pay their outstanding rent debt that arose before 1 December 2020. Grants for 75 per cent of rent arrears, up to a maximum of $4,000, will be paid directly to eligible landlords. This includes any rent that was waived or reduced during the moratorium emergency period. 

To assess your initial eligibility try our two-minute Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme eligibility check (external site).

Please read all information on this page before attempting to submit an application 

Before you can apply for the Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme, you must meet the eligibility criteria. At any time you may be asked to prove what you declare in your application. This means that you must have evidence to support your application in case it is requested.

Your patience is appreciated and our team will work as quickly as possible to process applications. The time taken varies as the team makes sure eligibility requirements are met - complicated applications, or incorrect or incomplete applications, may take longer to be assessed.  

Terms we use on this page

Tenant

All tenants in private rental homes, long-stay residents in residential parks, and boarders and lodgers in rooming houses.

Sub-tenant

Someone who has entered into a separate verbal or written rental agreement with a tenant named on a rental agreement.

Landlord

Lessors, property managers, owners, park operators, and providers of boarding and lodging accommodation.

Topic categories


Eligibility

Who is eligible for the grant?

General eligibility criteria:

  • You live in WA and are permitted to live and work in Australia;
  • You are in financial hardship, meaning you:
    • have less than $10,000 in savings; and
    • pay more than 25 per cent of your income in rent per week;
  • You are tenant or sub-tenant in a private residential property, or a resident in a rooming house, or in a residential park (includes community housing);
  • You had a residential tenancy agreement in place as at 1 December 2020 (includes boarders and lodgers with an agreement)*;
  • You have a bond lodged with the Bond Administrator (if required under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987); and
  • You and your current landlord have entered into a fixed-term tenancy agreement that continues for six months or longer beyond 29 March 2021.**

You are eligible for rent arrears assistance if:

  • You are, or were, unemployed, having lost your job or 50 per cent of your income on or after 20 March 2020 due to COVID-19; or you were in receipt of a Centrelink payment*** (excluding JobKeeper), during the emergency period; and
  • You have rent arrears (unpaid or deferred rent)**** or rent waived (or reduced) as at 1 December 2020; and
  • You meet all of the general eligibility criteria listed at the top of this section.

You are eligible for future rent support if:

  • You currently receive Centrelink payments***; and
  • You are facing a significant rent increase, greater than the normal market rate of five per cent a year; and
  • You meet all of the general eligibility criteria listed at the top of this section.

Explanatory notes

  1. * You must still be living at the same property.
  2. ** If you and your landlord are willing to enter into a fixed-term tenancy agreement that continues for six months or longer beyond 29 March 2021, you may still be eligible. 
  3. *** Centrelink payment must be your primary source of income. 
  4. **** Any unpaid or deferred rent must still be owing.

Note: Your rent is the amount payable per week as at 1 December 2020.

To assess your initial eligibility try our two-minute Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme eligibility check (external site).

Who is not eligible for the grant?

You are not eligible for the grant if:

  • You do not currently live in WA and are not permitted to live and work in Australia; or
  • You are not in financial hardship, meaning you:
    • have more than $10,000 in savings; and
    • pay 25 per cent or less of your income in rent per week; or
  • You are not a tenant or sub-tenant in a private residential property, or a resident in a rooming house, or in a residential park (includes community housing); or
  • You did not have a residential tenancy agreement in place as at 1 December 2020; or
  • You do not have a bond lodged with the Bond Administrator (if required under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987); or
  • You and your current landlord have not entered into a fixed-term tenancy agreement that continues for six months or longer beyond 29 March 2021 and neither party is willing to do so; or
  • You or your landlord do not accept the Terms and Conditions.

In addition:

You are not eligible for rent arrears assistance if:

  • You are not, or were not, unemployed, or did not lose your job or 50 per cent of your income on or after 20 March 2020 due to COVID-19; or you were not in receipt of a Centrelink payment (excluding JobKeeper) as your primary source of income during the emergency period; or
  • You do not have rent arrears (unpaid or deferred rent) as at 1 December 2020 still owing, or rent waived (or reduced) as at 1 December 2020; or
  • You do not meet the general eligibility criteria.

You are not eligible for future rent support if:

  • You are not receiving Centrelink payments as a primary source of income; or
  • You are not facing a significant rent increase, greater than the normal market rate of five per cent a year; or
  • You do not meet the general eligibility criteria.

To assess your initial eligibility try our two-minute Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme eligibility check (external site).

What is the difference between rent arrears assistance and future rent support?

Rent arrears assistance is to help with rent debt. The tenant needs to benefit as a result of the grant and the landlord must offset rent arrears (unpaid or deferred) or any rent waived (or reduced) during the emergency period as at 1 December 2020.  

Future rent support is to help with a significant rent increase, which is greater than the normal market rate of five per cent a year.

It is possible for applicants to be eligible for rent arrears assistance and future rent support at the same time. If so, the processing officer can calculate which grant is of the greatest benefit and this will be given to the applicant. 

Explanation of terms

What is meant by rent arrears?

Debt accrued by the tenant as at 1 December 2020 for not paying rent during the emergency period, includes unpaid and deferred rent (expected to be paid back). This includes where the landlord has deferred payment until a future date, even if that date is after 1 December 2020.

What is meant by deferred rent?

As at 1 December 2020, the landlord had agreed to the tenant paying a reduced rent for a period of time and deferred payment of the amount reduced until after the emergency period (expected to be paid back).

What is meant by waived rent?

As at 1 December 2020, the landlord had agreed to the tenant not paying all or part of the accumulated rent arrears, with this amount not having to be repaid in future (not expected to be paid back).

What is meant by reduced rent?

As at 1 December 2020, the landlord had agreed to temporarily reduce rent for a period of time without requiring the tenant to repay the difference at a later stage (not expected to be paid back).

What is meant by lost your job?

This eligibility criterion also includes a reduction of 50 per cent or more of your after-tax income, and includes if you are self-employed, a sole trader, a casual worker or a contractor.

What is meant by after-tax income?

It is your current personal after-tax income that determines eligibility. This may be from Centrelink income support payments or any income you receive from other sources including interest from investments. 

However, in relation to a reduction of 50 per cent or more of your weekly income under the question "Are you, or were you unemployed, having lost your job or 50 per cent of your income on or after 20 March 2020 due to COVID-19?" on the application form, this does not include income support from Centrelink. 

What is meant by a private residential property?

A private residential property is one that is privately owned by a landlord or company and excludes social and public housing. Generally the owner manages the property or contracts a licensed real estate agency to do so.

About the six-month lease requirement

If I signed a fixed-term tenancy before 28 March 2021 that continues for at least six months beyond 29 March 2021, am I eligible for the grant?

As long as the agreement continues for a minimum of six months from 29 March 2021, and you meet the other criteria, you could be eligible for the grant.

Can a rent increase be a term of the minimum six-month lease agreement beyond 29 March 2021?

The landlord and tenant will need to agree on the terms and conditions of any lease and this may include an increase in rent.

What if the proposed rent increase is more than I can afford?

There are options to help negotiate if you receive a rent increase that you believe is not affordable. The Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service can help tenants and landlords agree on an amount of rent that is acceptable to both parties.

Future rent support may be available - see the eligibility criteria above for details. 

Important reminder: you must have a lease in place with the existing landlord for six months beyond 29 March 2021, otherwise you are not eligible for the grant.

What can I do if the landlord won’t agree to a fixed-term tenancy that continues for at least six months beyond 29 March 2021?

The Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service will assist tenants and landlords to come together and negotiate a tenancy agreement that is acceptable to both parties.

If a tenant and landlord need help to agree on the terms of a new fixed-term tenancy agreement, where can they go?

Consumer Protection provides a Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service to assist tenants and landlords reach agreement. Call 1300 304 054 or email tenancyhelp@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Applying for the grant

How do I apply?

To apply, complete the online application form linked at the bottom of this page. 

Please note: PDF application forms labelled "Application Form – Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme ‘E’" will no longer be accepted. 

What documentation is required?

You do not need to provide any documentation in support of your initial application. We may ask for supporting documents once we assess your application.

Documents that may be required include:

  • Evidence of a fixed-term agreement that continues for a minimum of six months beyond 29 March 2021
  • A copy of the rent ledger maintained by the landlord as at 1 December 2020
  • Notice of termination of employment or a stand-down notice on or after 20 March 2020 or evidence of a reduction of 50 per cent or more of your after-tax income
  • Proof you have less than $10,000 in savings (copies of bank statements or balance slips)
  • Proof of any income (Centrelink payment notice, bank statements) 
  • Proof of your entitlement to reside in Australia - citizenship, permanent residency, protection visa, or bridging visa (birth certificate, VEVO certificate, copy of visa or citizenship certificate, passport)
  • Proof of your entitlement to work in Australia (Australian birth certificate, passport, citizenship papers, copy of visa with conditions)
  • If you have lodged a bond with the Bond Administrator, proof of bond lodgement, or proof bond will be registered with the Bond Administrator

Is there a paper copy of the form?

Due to the large volume of applications expected, if you have access to a computer it is quicker and more efficient to submit your application online.

If you do not have access to a computer then we can post out a paper form.

Completed applications can be posted to the department or dropped off at one of our offices throughout the State.

For more details call Consumer Protection on 1300 304 054.

Please note: PDF application forms labelled "Application Form – Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme ‘E’" are no longer accepted. 

Receiving the grant

For rent arrears assistance, how is the amount of rent relief determined?

A key condition for landlords to receive the funding is that a fixed-term tenancy agreement of six months or longer beyond 29 March 2021 exists or is entered into with the existing tenant. 

Accrued rent arrears

Landlords will be paid direct one-off grants equivalent to 75 per cent, up to $4,000, of the accrued rent arrears incurred during the emergency period. This includes where a landlord has agreed to allow a tenant to defer payment for a period of time.

Waived rent arrears

Landlords will be paid direct one-off grants equivalent to 75 per cent, up to $4,000, of the accrued rent arrears incurred during the emergency period. This includes where a landlord has agreed with a tenant to temporarily reduce the rent for the premises without requiring the tenant to repay the difference at a later stage.

How is the grant paid?

The tenant applies for the grant but it will be paid directly to the landlord. Both the landlord and tenant must agree to the Terms and Conditions detailed in the application form before the grant is paid.

What happens after the grant is paid?

All parties must comply with the ordinary provisions under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 from 29 March 2021.

Will I have to pay back the grant?

No, if accessed lawfully, the grant will not have to be repaid by either landlord or tenant.

Can I receive a grant for rent arrears assistance AND for future rent support?

No. While applicants may be eligible for rent arrears assistance and future rent support at the same time, the processing officer can calculate which grant is of the greatest benefit and this will be given to the applicant. 

I am a landlord with several properties where the tenant has incurred rent debt, and I have deferred or waived the debt for each of these tenants. Am I entitled to more than one grant?

Yes, provided each tenant meets the eligibility criteria, you are entitled to a grant for each of the rent debts incurred.

 

Ready to apply for the Residential Rent Relief Grant?

Before proceeding ensure you meet the eligibility criteria

Note: The online form is not supported in Internet Explorer. Please ensure you access the form via a different browser.

Apply online now

Applications may be submitted until 5pm 28 June 2021. 

The information provided on this page was accurate at the time of publishing, but may change without notice and be updated by Consumer Protection WA at any time.

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