We wait for the government's rental assistance package

The issues of financial stress, uncertainty and home isolation will all compound to make 2020 an incredibly difficult year for much of the Orange community.

By Peter McCormack

04-04-2020 |
While we wait for the government to provide details of what relief will be provided to tenants that have been affected for the Covid-19 pandemic, tenants, landlords and agents live with the uncertainty of how the next 3 to 6 months will unfold.

For those effected, the current economic and health situation is credibly stressful. The issues of financial stress, uncertainty and home isolation will all compound to make 2020 an incredibly difficult year for the Orange community.

To date, the federal government has implemented numerous policies to assist both tenants and landlords.

Landlords have a greater degree of certainty of receiving rent with the new JobSeeker and JobKeeper schemes. Tenants have also been provided better protection, making it illegal to evict tenants who have been financial affected by the crisis.

With the government's generous levels of support so far, many tenants are eagerly awaiting to see what rental assistance will be offered.

At this point, tenants and landlords should realise that even if a tenant is suffering genuine financial stress, they are contractually obliged to pay their rent. This is the same with landlords; mortgages may be able to be frozen but repayments will have to be ‘made up’ down the track.

While a landlords individual circumstances may vary (with some having greater capacity to be financially sympathetic to tenants who have been effected), we are encouraging all landlords to wait until we know what the government’s assist package will look like, before potentially making any concessions to their tenants lease.

As soon as the federal government’s assistance package is announced, we then look at how to best assist our tenants and landlords.

At this stage, we have an expectation that tenants will continue to pay the rent if they are on a JobKeeper or JobSeeker scheme.

If any of our tenants are suffering financial hardship, we encourage them to contact us as soon as possible. After our initial conversation, we will ask that tenants demonstrate loss of income and what efforts have been taken to seek government assistance.

For us as agents, understanding our tenant’s situation is critical in offering our landlords the best advice in how handle the next 6 months.

At McCormack Barber, we want to help lessen the stress that many of our tenants and landlords may encounter.