The Tasmanian government decided to extend its existing support schemes for tenants and roll out additional assistance for landlords as the state recovers and rebuilds from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergency period for residential tenancies, which was initially extended until the end of the month, will now be extended further to 1 December 2020. This means that all protections currently in place for residential tenants affected by the COVID-19 outbreak will continue.
The state government also extended the Rent Relief Fund, which allows struggling tenants to apply for assistance of up to $2,000.
As of 3 September, more than 700 residential tenants had already accessed the Rent Relief Fund. With the extension, tenants who already received assistance can reapply if they are still in arrears.
Furthermore, the state government has rolled out the COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund, which will offer financial support to residential landlords who are under financial hardship.
Under the new program, landlords who can demonstrate that they have tenants in rent arrears will be eligible for a $2,000 relief payment.
Adrian Kelly, president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, said these announcements show the state government's acknowledgement of the struggles of both tenants and landlords.
"Tasmania has outlined a sensible and pragmatic framework with a very clear signal for other jurisdictions less affected by COVID-19 to look at carefully," he said. "We encourage all premiers and relevant ministers to look closely at this approach."