The Andrews government will extend its ban on evictions and rental price increases until the end of the year, as Victoria continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the extension, evictions will be banned until 31 December 2020 for both residential and commercial tenants, while rental prices will be capped at current prices for the same period.
In a statement announcing the extension, the Victorian Premier reiterated that landlords and tenants need to work together to get through the crisis.
“No one should have to be worried about losing a roof over their head right now. This will give tenants certainty and security that they won’t lose their home or business while we fight this deadly pandemic,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
For landlords who do grant rent subsidies, they will also be able to take advantage of more support, including further land tax reductions and more grant funding.
Eligible residential tenants and landlords will be supported with up to $3,000 in rental payments as part of the Rental Relief Grant program, with new recipients able to apply for the full amount.
A further $1,000 will be made available for previous recipients.
Residential and commercial landlords may also be eligible for an increased land tax discount — now up to 50 per cent — doubled from the earlier 25 per cent, while a fund of $60 million for eligible small commercial landlords will be made available via a hardship scheme.
Eligible small businesses that own their own commercial premises will also now benefit from land tax relief.
“Fairness is a two-way street and we’re providing the support that means tenants and landlords can continue to work together to find common ground,” Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford said.
The government indicated it will also be encouraging banks to continue working with any customers who are struggling to pay their mortgage as a result of the pandemic.