The Tasmanian Government recognises that the impacts of COVID-19 have been felt by many residential landlords, and today, I was pleased the Residential Tenancy Amendment (COVID-19) Bill 2020 passed the House of Assembly.
This Bill will allow our Government to continue providing significant support to Tasmanian landlords after recently announcing the establishment of the COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund for private residential tenancy landlords experiencing financial hardship due to tenants being behind in their rent.
The COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund is a one-off payment available to landlords, who have a current residential lease with tenants who have rent arrears, which will reduce or settle the amount of rent owing.
As of 12 October 2020, 199 applications had been received for the COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund, with a total of $247,552 being paid to 177 landlords already.
Between the COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund and the COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund, the Tasmanian Government has provided approximately $1.2 million to eligible tenants and landlords.
The protections and support our Government has provided have been significant and have enabled Tasmanian tenants to stay in their homes as well as assist them to pay their rent.
The Tasmanian Government was the first government in Australia to legislate numerous protections for residential property owners and tenants through the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020.
We recognise the daily challenges faced by landlords and tenants during this time of financial hardship, and we will continue to monitor the situation and provide the necessary support as Tasmania recovers and rebuilds from COVID-19.
Elise Archer, Minister for Building and Construction