There have been several major announcements in the past week, some of which impact landlords and renters – but the details remain sparse. The lack of information has created confusion for all those concerned, including the property managers who are trying to help them.
While we wait for further clarification and information from governments, here’s a wrap of what we know so far.
Home Confinement Direction
Under the new Home Confinement Direction, you should not leave your home unless absolutely necessary for the following permitted reasons:
- do essential shopping or for other essential goods and services
- receive medical treatment or health services
- exercise, either alone or with one other person or a family group
- do work that is essential and cannot be done from home (this is any type of work that is not restricted under the ‘non-essential business activity and undertaking closure’ direction)
- visit a terminally ill relative or attend a funeral
- care for or support an immediate family member
- attend Court or comply with a Court order
attend a childcare facility, school, university, or other educational institution to receive instruction
that is not possible to receive at home.
If you do need to leave your home for one of these permitted reasons, you may do so with members of your household, or with one person who is not a member of your household.
Not following any of these regulations without reasonable excuse is a breach of the Public Health Act 2005 and you may be fined up to $1,330 for individuals and $6,670 for corporations.
More information available here
COVID-19 Rental Grant
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 pandemic who do not have access to other financial assistance. The grant is paid directly to your lessor.
More information about eligibility is located here, along with the link to the application form.
Moratorium on Evictions
On 29 March 2020, Australian governments met as the National Cabinet and announced that evictions will be put on hold for six months for residential and commercial tenancies affected by the financial impacts of COVID-19 with more information to come.
The six-month moratorium on evictions will be legislated under each state and territory jurisdiction, and so far, none of them have provided details on how this will play out.
On Wednesday 1st April 2020, Department of Justice posted the following comment to their Facebook.
QCAT is currently receiving many enquiries about the rights of tenants and landlords in relation to evictions under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 following recent announcements of ”moratorium” on tenancy eviction proceedings.
At this stage, no Queensland laws relating to the rights and liabilities of residential landlords and tenants have been replaced or amended.
Accordingly, QCAT continues to apply the law as it stands and QCAT’s process for tenancy matters has not changed. If and when new laws come into effect, QCAT will immediately apply them as appropriate.
The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Australians to support them through the Coronavirus. This assistance includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation.
*Disclaimer: The above information regarding financial assistance is provided as a resource of information only. Meraki Property Management do not provide financial advice. Please discuss the above options with a licensed Financial Adviser.
We may not have any further information regarding rental law changes until the next Cabinet meeting. National Cabinet agreed to meet again on Friday 3 April 2020
We wanted to thank you all for you time, patience and cooperation with us as we work together through this.