The Victorian Government has announced emergency legislation reflecting the National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct. It will be put to Parliament next Thursday and includes:
- Introducing a temporary ban on evictions
- Pausing rental increases for six months
- Providing land tax relief for landlords
- Providing rent relief for tenants experiencing financial hardship
FAST-TRACK DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Tenants and landlords who struggle to strike a deal over rent reductions will be given access to a fast-tracked dispute resolution service, with Consumer Affairs Victoria or the Victorian Small Business Commission mediating to ensure fair agreements are reached.
The Government will provide an assistance fund for renters facing hardship due of coronavirus. To be eligible, renters must:
- Register their revised rental agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria, or
- Have completed mediation
- Have less than $5,000 in savings
- Still be paying 30% of their income in rent
LANDLORD TAX RELIEF
- Landlords providing rent relief to tenants affected by COVID-19 get 25% discount on land tax
- Remaining land tax can be deferred to March 2021
- A Coronavirus Relief Deputy Commissioner will be established at the State Revenue Office to manage these land tax relief claims
Evictions will be banned for residential tenancies for six months, except in some circumstances. Evictions for non-payment of commercial tenancy rent with small to medium enterprises will be banned for 6 months.
- Banned for both residential and commercial properties for six months
The Government will legislate so eligible small and medium sized businesses can be granted rental waivers or deferrals.
- Businesses eligible for these measures must have annual turnover under $50 million p.a. and have experienced more than a 30% reduction in turnover due to coronavirus
These measures will come into effect from 29 March for a period of six months.