With the Australian Capital Territory extending its lockdown, the government has urged landlords, tenants and rental providers to work together closely over the coming weeks.
For the first time in over 12 months, Canberra is in lockdown due to COVID, joining Sydney and Melbourne in heavy restrictions.
According to chief minister Andrew Barr, this current lockdown may present challenges for some people in the community, particularly tenants who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.
As such, working together will be critical to ensuring the physical, financial and mental wellbeing of all parties involved, he said.
Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said landlords are encouraged to consider negotiating temporary rent reduction or a rent arrears payment plan for tenants impacted by the lockdown.
“COVID-19 has had a financial impact on many Canberrans, and this has created some challenges for tenants making their rent payments,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“I encourage tenants to communicate with their landlord if they are experiencing financial difficulty and if they can’t make full rent payment. Tenants can negotiate a rent repayment plan with the landlord if in arrears or negotiate a temporary rent reduction.”
Along with landlords supporting tenants financially, the Attorney-General has also urged tenants to provide assistance to their landlords in the form of facilitating virtual inspections where necessary and practising patience in cases of delayed repairs.
Looking ahead, Mr Barr said the ACT government will continue to monitor the impacts of the pandemic on landlords and tenants, and consider whether further support is necessary.