The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales is urging the state government to take steps to support tenants and landlords amid the recent COVID-19 restrictions.
Tim McKibbin, CEO of REINSW, said the state government's request to landlords to work with tenants is not enough to support the rental market.
McKibbin said the government can extend the same level of support it has for small businesses to landlords and tenants. Recently, grants of up to $10,000 are made available for small businesses affected by the latest lockdowns.
"When the Treasurer said that landlords should work with their tenants, he is actually asking landlords to provide tenants with financial assistance,” McKibbin said. "It’s a situation that took many landlords to the brink through the rental moratorium previously put in place. Then, just as now, landlords were asked to provide financial support to tenants in need."
McKibbin said the state government has already pocketed an additional $1bn through stamp duty, which is way above the industry forecasts. He believes this provides a clear indication that the government is capable of supporting the tenants impacted by job losses or reduced hours as the current outbreak progresses.
"It is entirely appropriate and achievable for government to provide direct rental assistance to tenants impacted by the latest lockdown so that landlords are not left out of pocket. Landlords should not carry the financial burden," he said.
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