Financial Aid Program
COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR TENANTS & LANDLORDS
Information for Renters
New regulations have been introduced in Queensland to assist tenants who are in financial distress due to the impact of COVID-19 and who cannot meet their rent commitments. Renters may apply for a General Tenancy COVID-19 Variation Agreement. If you are having difficulty paying your rent, the Australian Government has expanded financial support entitlements. Make sure you have applied to Centrelink for the COVID-19 income support.
Any variation to a tenancy agreement needs to be negotiated with the landlord. The original lease obligations remain in place. Landlords may agree to a temporary rent reduction with the deferral of rent to be repaid to the landlord at a future point in time. These new regulations require renters to provide a specific Show Cause Notice that compels the tenant to communicate their circumstances, including documentary evidence to show how they have been impacted by COVID-19.
The new regulations also set out circumstances where entry to the property may be limited due to the tenants health circumstances or their vulnerability.
Importantly, if the tenant or the household is not affected by COVID-19 the standard tenancy rules and obligations prevail. For more information about the new COVID-19 Queensland Regulations for Renters – click here.
Apply for a COVID-19 Rental Grant
Funding is available for Queenslanders who have lost their job due to the impacts of COVID-19 and who do not have access to other financial assistance. The COVID-19 Rental Grant is a one-off payment of up to 4 weeks rent (maximum of $2000) available to those affected by the COVID-19. For more information visit the Queensland Government web site Apply for COVID-19 Rental Grant.
Information about COVID-19 support, the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) & other Government Housing Assistance
In addition to the COVID-19 Rental Grant, there are other rental support programs that can help you supplement your income and help you reduce your rental costs. This includes the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). For more information about these programs visit:
- Coronavirus COVID-19 Income Support
- Queensland Government Bond Loans & Rental Grants
- Apply for a Rental Grant
- COVID-19 Mental Health Support Australian Government
- COVID-19 Mental Wellbeing Support Service – Beyond Blue
- Australian Government NRAS Information for Tenants
- Queensland Government NRAS Information for Tenants
- Realestate.com.au NRAS Rental Listings across Australia
Would you like to save 20% or more on your rent?
If your answer is ‘YES‘, then you should check out the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). This fantastic government funded program helps tens of thousands of people gain access to high quality properties including houses, duplexes, townhouses and apartments. To learn more about whether you are eligible for NRAS, please click the on-line eligibility checklist below.
If you wish to rent an NRAS property, strict criteria apply to your rental application. Applications must be completed with all supporting information before they can be assessed. Before you submit your application, please ensure you have:
- Completed the application in full;
- Have copies of Identification for the 100 point ID check;
- Details of your previous tenancies, and contact numbers for previous landlords / agents, tenant ledgers and references; and
- Details of your income, including Payslips, Tax Assessment Notice, Child Support documents, statements for Government Assistance.
COVID-19 Information for Landlords
The Queensland State Government’s Special COVID-19 measures for residential tenants and property owners passed in Parliament on Wednesday 22 April 2020. The legislation and associated regulations introduce special measures that apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new rules only apply to renters and their households directly impacted by COVID-19. Tenants must provide RTA Show Cause Notice in accordance with the legislation. A Residential Tenancies Practice Guide for COVID-19 will be released shortly.
The new COVID-19 measures include:
- tenants in financial distress due to the impact of the coronavirus who cannot meet their rent commitments cannot be evicted or listed in a tenancy database for rent arrears;
- fixed term agreements due to expire during the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended to 30 September 2020 unless the tenant requests a shorter term;
- owner obligations for routine repairs and inspections have been relaxed but regulatory obligations to ensure tenant safety in the rental property continue to apply;
- tenants may refuse physical entry for non-essential reasons, including routine repairs and inspections, particularly if a member of the household is a vulnerable person. However, tenants must agree to virtual inspections if physical inspections are not agreed to;
- tenants who have been affected by COVID-19 and who meet specific criteria may apply for a General Tenancy COVID-19 Variation Agreement. Any variation to the tenancy agreement needs to be negotiated and agreed with the landlord;
- tenants and property owners should work together to reach agreement. If agreement cannot be reached, parties are required to undertake conciliation to resolve disputes;
- if the landlord agrees to a temporary rent reduction, the balance of the rent is deferred and needs to be repaid at some future point in time;
- the bond remains as per the original tenancy agreement;
- if owners need to sell their rental property due to their own financial circumstances, 60 days notice needs to be given to the tenant (including for Fixed Term Leases)
Importantly, if the tenant or the household is not affected by COVID-19 the standard tenancy rules and obligations prevail. For more information about the new COVID-19 Queensland Regulations for Landlords – click here.
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