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Are landlords and tenants picking up the bill for Sydney’s latest lockdown?

By Fergus Halliday
30 June 2021 | 1 minute read
Tim McKibbin

The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) has gone to bat for both landlords and tenants, following the announcement of the state government’s latest support package for small businesses.

Rental relief was not included in the NSW state government’s tranche of pandemic support measures.

Citing the record stamp duty revenues revealed by the recent NSW state budget, REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said: “It is entirely appropriate and achievable for government to provide direct rental assistance to tenants impacted by the latest lockdown so that landlords are not left out of pocket. 

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“Through stamp duty, the NSW government has pocketed an additional $1 billion above budget forecasts from the property industry. This is the time to give something back.

“Landlords should not carry the financial burden... It was unfair last time, and it’s unfair this time.”

In the most recent NSW state budget, it was revealed that stamp duty revenues for the 2020–2021 financial year exceeded forecasts. 

Previously expected to bring in $8.3 billion, the property tax added $9.3 billion to the state’s bottom line. It is now the largest tax revenue source for the state. 

“The real estate industry has rescued the NSW budget,” Mr McKibbin declared earlier this month.

Earlier this week, the NSW state government announced a number of new policy measures intended to mitigate the impact of Sydney’s two-week lockdown. 

These included new business support grants and extension of the Dine & Discover initiative. However, it did not include any sort of relief for either renters and landlords.

In lieu of formal support for renters and landlords, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet encouraged landlords to “work with tenants” who are struggling.

“When the Treasurer said that landlords should work with their tenants, he is actually asking landlords to provide tenants with financial assistance,” Mr McKibbin said.

“It’s a situation that took many landlords to the brink through the rental moratorium previously put in place.

“Then, just as now, landlords were asked to provide financial support to tenants in need. This is the role of government.”

Are landlords and tenants picking up the bill for Sydney’s latest lockdown?
TimMcKibbin reb
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