By Juliano Oliveira
Premier Scott Morrison gathered with National Cabinet decided that renters in financial distress due to Covid-19 will be offered a moratorium on evictions over the next six months.
A set of principles has been defined by National Cabinet towards renters and landlords mostly encouraging them to agree on rent relief or temporary amendments to the lease.
Other policies to be applied also comprise the reduction or waiver of rental payment for a defined period for impacted tenants; and the ability for tenants to terminate leases and/or seek mediation or conciliation on the grounds of financial distress.
“We need you to sit down, talk to each other and work this out about looking at the businesses which have been closed, businesses that may have had a significant reduction in their revenues and we need landlords and tenants to sit down and come up with arrangements that enable them to get through this crisis so on the other side, the landlord has a tenant, which is a business that can pay rent and the business is a business that can re-emerge on the other side of this and be able to go on and employ people on the other side of these arrangements,” Mr Morrison said.
“And we want the banks to help them achieve this outcome. We want people to sit down and work this out. We will be working on measures that will be encouraging you to do just that and to support you to do just that, but also to ensure that if you aren’t going to engage in that sort of cooperative activity between banks, between tenants and between landlords, then the sort of support that you might otherwise expect to receive, you will not receive. This is part of the hibernation approach where we want people bespoke, customised to their own circumstances to sit down and work these things out. There is no rulebook for this. We are in uncharted territory, but the goal should be shared.”