SUPPORT for renters facing financial hardship because of COVID-19 has been extended for a second time by the ACT government, giving tenants another two months to pay outstanding debts.
The new end date is set for June 30, six months after the relief scheme was originally due to wrap up in January. The first extension to the program would have seen renters pay up in April.
It will mean that renters cannot be evicted by their landlord for accrued arrears until then, but will stay have to pay their rent amid a “transitional” period.
During that time, impacted tenants in fixed-term leases who end their leases early will not incur a penalty if they need to move due to a change in their circumstances.
The extension will give tenants who are experiencing financial hardship more time to get back on their feet, repay their debts and stay in their homes, according to Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury.
“We know the past year has been really tough on ACT residents who have lost their incomes and livelihoods due to COVID-19,” he says.
Executive director at Better Renting, Joel Dignam says extending the reprieve is good news for the thousands of ACT renters who are still coming to terms with the effects of covid, such as lost income.
“Canberra’s rental market is currently incredibly tough, with a lot of competition for a small number of vacant properties,” he says.
“These support measures will help those tenants still recovering from COVID-19.”