End of rental moratorium - Real estate industry bulletin 241
1 April 2021
In this issue:
- Terminations and evictions after end of emergency rental laws
- Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme
Terminations and evictions after end of emergency rental laws
The COVID-19 rental evictions moratorium ended on 28 March 2021. There are clear processes that a landlord or property manager need to follow to lawfully terminate a tenancy and to carry out an eviction if a tenant does not vacate. Information on our lessor ending a tenancy page will assist you with these processes.
A landlord or property manager cannot change locks, turn off utilities like electricity, gas or water, or take any other action to force a tenant out of a property unless authorised by a court order.
If a tenant believes they are likely to suffer hardship as a result of an eviction, they can ask the magistrate for a suspension of the court order for up to 30 days.
Tenants must continue to pay rent that is due until they have vacated the property and ensure they keep the property in a reasonable state of cleanliness.
Both landlords and tenants should act and negotiate in good faith to agree on reasonable and workable tenancy arrangements.
A consent order issued by the Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service is not a court order but can be enforced in court.
We will soon send our next bulletin which will provide more information about termination notices, including what makes them valid.
Rent relief - arrears assistance and rent support
During the emergency period, a number of COVID-19 response initiatives were created to support both landlords and tenants, and help is still available under the Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme (RRRGS).
Introduced in 2020, the RRRGS was expanded to offer rent support for tenants on Centrelink incomes to meet rent payments after the end of the emergency period. Grants are capped at $2,000 per tenancy.
To be eligible for this grant tenants must be facing a significant rent increase (greater than the normal market rate of five per cent a year) plus meet all of the general eligibility criteria.
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. Applications for rent arrears assistance and rent support grants close 28 June 2021.
Tenants can check their eligibility online using our eligibility tool.
The Residential Tenancies Mandatory Conciliation Service was established to help tenants and landlords to mutually agree to resolve COVID-19-related tenancy disputes. Applications for conciliation are open until 28 June 2021 for disputes that arose during the emergency period, and the service will continue for as long as necessary.
Disputes that arise after the emergency period may be handled through our existing complaint processes.
Find out more
Visit our Residential tenancies – COVID-19 response page for more information about assistance schemes, your rights and responsibilities, a guide to help landlords and tenants to negotiate, and a resource to assist tenants looking to access emergency accommodation.
Need some assistance?
If you need assistance with terminating a tenancy, please call our Contact Centre on 1300 304 054 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This bulletin contains general information obtained from internal and external sources to the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. While we use our best endeavours to ensure the information is correct and current at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after that time may impact upon the accuracy of the material. It is your responsibility to ensure the information is still correct when applying it to your situation in the future, including seeking independent professional advice. More information is available on our Disclaimer page.
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