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$650 to $400: Sydney TikToker reveals rent reduction hack

·2-min read
Screenshots of Shirley Liu Sydney CBD apartment as shown on TikTok plus images of cash in hand
A Sydneysider living in the CBD has revealed a NSW policy that let her negotiate a lower rent rate. (Source: TikTok/shirl3yliu, Getty)

A Sydney-based TikToker has revealed a little-known NSW policy that helped her reduce her Sydney CBD apartment rent of $650 down to $400.

In a video posted on Wednesday, TikTok user @shirl3yliu revealed her stylish Sydney apartment in a quick montage.

“I was paying $650 a week prior to lockdown, and now I am only paying $400 a week,” she said.

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She said she swung the “huge rent reduction” through NSW’s Residential Tenancy Support Payment of $3,000 per tenancy agreement.

Under the Payment, landlords who agree to reduce their tenants’ rent will be compensated by the NSW Government up to $3,000.

Landlords are also able to make separate claims for different rental properties, and if they have received payment from NSW, they cannot ask for the tenant to repay the sum.

The payments are made directly into the landlord or managing agent’s bank account.

“Any rent reduction given to the tenant will be reimbursed by the government to the landlord,” Liu explained.

Screenshots of TikToker @shirl3yliu's Sydney CBD apartment
(Source: TikTok/shirl3yliu)

“So it’s not at their own expense and if you’ve been affected by COVID, I really encourage you to go speak to your landlord because there’s really no reason for them to say no to you – it's not at their expense.”

The original amount under the support payment was $1,500, but from Friday 27 August, this will be increased to $3,000.

Tenants will have to prove evidence of financial distress caused by COVID-19, such as payslips showing reduced income, documents from employers showing reduced hours, stand-down or termination, and pay 25 per cent of the typical rent to remain eligible unless the landlord agrees to a lower rate.

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The payment is part of a broader Residential Tenancy Support Package, which includes a 60-day freeze on evictions.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is due to announce looser restrictions for fully-vaccinated residents at 11am today.

The state has been battling record-high daily case numbers in the 800s and 900s as the Delta COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread.

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