realestatebusiness logo

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Home of the REB Top 100 Agents
Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our newsletter

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Call for eviction moratoriums to be canned

By Grace Ormsby
25 January 2021 | 1 minute read
Call for eviction moratoriums to be canned

With the number of COVID-19-impacted tenants now dropping, Australia’s professional real estate body is leading a call to the national cabinet to scrap the rental eviction moratorium.

Ahead of the next national cabinet meeting on Friday, 5 February, the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s (REIA) president, Adrian Kelly, said it is time for all COVID-19 rental eviction moratoriums to be removed so that some form of normality for both tenants and property owners can resume in 2021.

“The rental eviction moratorium was the absolute right decision at the time by our nation’s leaders and played a critical role in Australia’s initial COVID-19 line of defence,” he began.


“However, issues around tenants being impacted by COVID-19 and their ability to pay rent have not been anywhere near what was expected in early 2020.”

He argues that the policy is no longer needed, given some states have ended rental eviction policies, while unemployment has dropped to 6.6 per cent.

Mr Kelly said the percentage of COVID-19-impacted tenants is now less than 5 per cent in major cities and less than 1 per cent in regional areas.

“Despite this, almost all jurisdictions, except for Queensland and the Northern Territory, continue to extend the moratorium period far beyond six months, with most extending until the end of March.”

The president explained that Queenslanders felt minimal impact when their eviction moratorium was removed.

“And with economies now opening up, it is now time for all the states to do the same,” he iterated.

Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales have all extended their support of tenants to the end of March 2021.

For tenants in the ACT, the eviction moratorium will continue until the end of April.  

Mr Kelly said continuous extensions “have the potential to cause hardship on many landlords who may already be struggling”.

“Funding of sorts remains available in most jurisdictions for both tenants and property owners who remain impacted, and we call on all state governments to provide that targeted support to landlords and spend these funds,” he said.

The call from the REIA comes as paused mortgages look set to resume accumulating interest, which means property owners are reliant upon rental payments resuming to pre-pandemic levels.

Therefore, it would be sensible for moratoriums to be equally re-examined on a national basis, Mr Kelly concluded.

The national cabinet will meet again on Friday, 5 February 2021.

Canberra to stop commercial tenancy relief

Mr Kelly’s call comes as the Australian Capital Territory government announced it would be ending commercial tenancy relief as planned — on 31 January 2021.

The territory’s Attorney-General, Shane Rattenbury, said hundreds of local businesses have been assisted by the scheme.

“As our city recovers and business starts to return, the needs of our business community are changing, so we need to ensure the support government provides is appropriate to the circumstances,” he said.

Other COVID-19 measures will continue to operate, including mediation assistance through the COVID-19 local business commissioner.

Commissioner Brendan Smyth has already supported more than 400 businesses to renegotiate their rental agreements since the onset of the pandemic, and will continue to provide support after the commercial tenancy relief measures end.

Attorney-General Rattenbury is encouraging of commercial tenants and landlords to continue working together and adjusting leasing arrangements as necessary.

He advised: “It’s in the continued interests of all Canberrans, including landlords, to help and support our local businesses through COVID-19 and the challenges that remain.

“The government will do our part to kickstart the journey to recovery in the ACT, and we encourage tenants and landlords to do what they can to support one another along the way.”

Call for eviction moratoriums to be canned
AdrianKelly reb
lawyersweekly logo


Grace Ormsby

Grace Ormsby

Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.

May 09, 2022

REB Top 50 Women in Real Estate 2022

REB is thrilled to present the Top 50 Women in Real Estate 2022 ranking, which sets t ... LEARN MORE

May 04, 2022

REB Top 100 Agents 2022

Now in its second decade, the REB Top 100 Agents 2022 rankings are the most revered s ... LEARN MORE

May 02, 2022

REB Top 50 Agents NSW 2022

Even a pandemic has not put the brakes on the unstoppable property market in NSW, whi ... LEARN MORE

April 27, 2022

REB Top 50 Agents VIC 2022

The COVID-19 crisis has not deterred the property market in Victoria, which has been ... LEARN MORE

April 25, 2022

REB Top 50 Agents QLD 2022

As the property market continues to roar in Brisbane and Queensland, the REB Top 50 A ... LEARN MORE

Coming up

rankings rankings


Subscribe to our RPM
mailing list


Do you have an industry update?

top suburbs

12 month growth
Bawley Point
Walla Walla
Byron Bay
Kiama Heights
South Hobart
Lennox Head
Subscribe to Newsletter

Ensure you never miss an issue of the Real Estate Business Bulletin.
Enter your email to receive the latest real estate advice and tools to help you sell.