COVID-19 and remedial notices - Landlords bulletin 44
3 July 2020
COVID-19 and section 19 (remedial) notices
It’s important to know the difference between a section 19 (remedial) and section 14 (rent default) notice. This eBulletin explains section 19 (remedial) notices and when to use them. Next week’s will focus on section 14 (rent default) notices and how they work.
The Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 (the Act) has been created to ease the hardship tenants and landlords are experiencing due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The Act includes a moratorium on evictions during the emergency period, from 30 March 2020 to 29 September 2020, to stop people moving from place to place and reduce homelessness. It is not a moratorium on paying rent and where tenants can afford to pay, they should continue to do so.
The Act provides different notices and processes for non-payment of rent, depending on the tenant’s circumstances. It’s important to choose the process that correctly applies to your renter’s situation.
There are two very different scenarios where a tenant is not paying rent during the emergency period:
- The tenant is COVID-19 affected and unable to pay some, or all of their rent, or
- The tenant is not COVID-19 affected and refusing to pay their rent.
Remedial notice process
As the landlord you may give the tenant written notice (a remedial notice) confirming they have not paid rent and that you are willing to enter into a rent repayment agreement. The remedial notice should also let the tenant know that if they don’t pay the rent and refuse to enter into a payment agreement during the 60 days from when the notice is served (the remedial period), you may apply to the Magistrates Court to terminate the tenancy. There is no specific form for the remedial notice – you can send the information in an email or letter. Please refer to this breach process flowchart for more details.
After serving the remedial notice you need to apply to the department’s Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service, which helps landlords and tenants resolve COVID-19 tenancy issues without going to court. It is a good idea when applying for mandatory conciliation to let the conciliator know you have issued the tenant a remedial notice. If you reach agreement before or through conciliation, no further action to terminate can be taken. If after the 60-day remedial period your tenant has not paid the arrears, or has refused to enter into a repayment agreement or conciliation, you can then apply to the Magistrates Court for a termination order and recovery of rent.
Please refer to the department's Residential tenancies - COVID-19 response page for more information about renting rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 emergency period.
Contact 1300 304 054 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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