Mark McGowan has announced a raft of measures that will go before parliament this week to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on tenants and landlords.
In a statement, the Premier said he wanted to be “very clear” that these measures were not a moratorium, or a freeze, on rent.
“Rent should still be paid.”
The following measures include:
- A moratorium on eviction for six months. There will be exceptions in limited circumstances.
- A ban on rent increases during the State of Emergency period.
- Providing that any fixed term tenancy agreement due to expire during the State of Emergency period will continue as a periodic agreement.
- Relieving lessors of the obligation to conduct ordinary repairs if the reason they cannot do so is COVID-19 related financial hardship or a lawful restriction on movement.
- Enabling a tenant to end a fixed term tenancy prior to its end date without incurring break lease fees. Tenants will still be liable for damage and rent arrears.
The laws will apply equally to tenants in public and private housing, park homes as well as boarders and lodgers.
The statement stressed that if a tenant couldn’t pay their rent, they will still have to pay it later, so anyone who can keep paying rent, should keep paying rent.
He also urged landlords and tenants to talk to each other.