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How to apply for a rent relief grant

Samantha Menzies
·Contributing editor
·6-min read
How to apply for a rent relief grant. Source: Getty
How to apply for a rent relief grant. Source: Getty

Residential rental relief payments have been hiked to $3,000 for Victorians experiencing rental hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, while relief payments have been extended for renters in Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and ACT.

Find out if you’re eligible, and how to apply.

I’m a renter in Victoria, what rent relief can I get?

Victoria’s one-off grant is for renters who have come to a rent reduction agreement with their landlord and represents a $1,000 increase from the $2,000 boost renters were given earlier this year. The Victorian Government has also extended the time you can lodge your grant application to 28 March 2021, and on 4 September, also increased the amount of personal savings you can have to $10,000 from $5,000.

To be eligible for rent relief you will need to have agreed a rent reduction agreement with your landlord and registered it with Consumer Affairs Victoria. Your household income must be less than $1,903 per week, you have less than $10,000 in savings and must still be paying at least 30 per cent of your income in rent.

Once your rent reduction agreement has been lodged, or you have completed a mediation process through Consumer Affairs Victoria, you can apply for a rent relief grant online through the Victorian Government until 28 March 2021.

Or, you can apply on paper by ringing 1800 950 444 between 9am-12pm Monday to Friday and a form will be sent to your address.

Wait, I already received the initial $2,000 rent relief grant. Can I get more?

Absolutely. Existing applications which continue to meet the eligibility criteria will automatically be assessed for eligibility for the additional $1,000 payment. This applies if you have received an initial $2,000 grant and also if your previous application is pending or even rejected because of the previous personal savings limit. You do not need to take any action.

I’m a renter but I don’t live in Victoria. Can I get any COVID-19 rent relief?

If you live in Tasmania, ACT, Western Australia or South Australia, yes. But for those renters who reside in NSW or QLD, sadly not.

I’m a renter in Tasmania, what rent relief can I get?

The Tasmanian Government has extended its COVID-19 emergency period for residential tenancies to 1 December 2020.

The COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund was set up in May 2020 to assist tenants suffering from extreme hardship, with support of up to $2,000 or four weeks rent, for which eligible renters can apply online. And the good news is that tenants who have already received financial help to pay their rent can apply for a second round of rental support payment if their circumstances have not changed.

I’m a renter in Australian Capital Territory, what rent relief can I get?

The Government is dishing out land tax and rate rebates to landlords of residential properties who reduce rent by at least 25 per cent for tenants impacted by COVID-19.

The rebate is equal to 50 per cent of the rent reduction, capped at $1,300 per quarter (around $100 per week), until December 2020, providing rental relief of up to $200 per week.

To get the rent relief, landlords need to fill out an online form.

I’m a renter in Western Australia, what rent relief can I get?

In Western Australia, the local government has extended the moratorium on rent increases and other provisions until 28 March 2021 and the Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme will continue through the extended emergency period for renters who have had a minimum 75 per cent reduction in income. The rent relief is equivalent for four weeks’ rent to a maximum of $2,000 and payable directly to landlords.

But there is a catch.

Renters can apply for the rent relief payment online until 29 September 2020, but are warned that the total $30 million grant may be claimed prior to the cut-off date.

I’m a renter in South Australia, what rent relief can I get?

In South Australia, a one-off rent relief grant of up to $1,000 is available for residential landlords who reduce a tenants rent if they are experiencing hardship (less than $5,000 in savings and paying more than 30% income on rent) due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But you’ll have to be quick in applying as the relief package is only available until 30 September 2020.

I’m a renter in New South Wales, what rent relief can I get?

Renters in New South Wales aren’t eligible for a pandemic-related rent relief grant but may be able to access financial help or rent assistance if they are also on Jobseeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY, parenting payment, special benefit or more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit. The amount of rental assistance will depend on how much rent you pay.

The good news is eligible renters are protected by a 6-month restriction on evictions for tenants behind in their rent who’ve been affected by coronavirus. This is due to end 15 October 2020.

In the meantime NSW Fair Trading is urging renters in financial stress to try to negotiate a reduction with their landlord directly.

I’m a renter in Queensland, what rent relief can I get?

Not very much.

In Queensland, applications for a $2,000 COVID-19 rent relief ended at 5pm on 27 April 2020. But for those in extreme hardship facing homelessness, and with less than $2,500 in savings could possibly be eligible for a bond loan or rental grant.

I’m a renter in Australian Capital Territory, what rent relief can I get?

The Government is dishing out land tax and rate rebates to landlords of residential properties who reduce rent by at least 25 per cent for tenants impacted by COVID-19.

The rebate is equal to 50 per cent of the rent reduction, capped at $1,300 per quarter (around $100 per week), until December 2020, providing rental relief of up to $200 per week.

I’m a renter in Northern Territory, what rent relief can I get?

Renters in the Northern Territory are being urged to come to a rent reduction agreement with their landlord but there is no government rental assistance.

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