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Introduction

The residential tenancy support payment assists COVID-19 impacted tenants and their landlords to maintain tenancies and reduce financial hardship.

Landlords can make a claim to offset rent reductions provided to COVID-19 impacted tenants. The support payment of up to $4,500 will be made directly into the account of the landlord or managing agent.

From 11 November 2021, COVID-19 impacted tenants can also apply for the residential tenancy support payment. Opening applications to tenants as well as their landlords helps clear rental arrears, and avoid disputes or recovery action for rent, during the moratorium transitional period.

If previous claims have been made, the total of all claims per tenancy agreement cannot be more than $4,500.

Note: The NSW Government is also providing land tax relief for both commercial and residential properties where the tenant’s rent has been reduced.

Residential landlords can apply for either the residential tenancy support payment or the COVID-19 land tax relief. They cannot apply for both.

A landlord cannot seek payment from a tenant for the amount received from the residential tenancy support payment or land-tax benefit.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the payment, you must:

  • be a landlord or managing agent of a COVID-19 impacted tenant or a COVID-19 impacted tenant, during the period commencing 14 July 2021
  • have proof of a residential tenancy agreement such as:
    • a rental bond number, or
    • a written tenancy agreement if no bond has been lodged.

If there has been a previous claim for payment for a premises (for either the residential tenancy support payment or the land-tax benefit), the maximum amount that can be claimed is the difference between the previous claim and the $4,500 cap. 

In addition:

  • the property that is the subject of the application must be the tenant’s principal place of residence
  • residential premises that are being used for commercial purposes, such as short-term rental accommodation or as a serviced apartment are not eligible for the payment
  • residential premises that are being used as a boarding house or other shared accommodation arrangement are also not eligible for the payment.

What you need

  • the rental bond number(s) and/or the written tenancy agreement(s)
  • a completed Consent to provide my details (digital form)
  • the nominated account for rental payments (for managing agents this must be the agency’s rental trust account).

Note: A quicker payment will be made where details of the tenancy(s) can be verified against rental bond data.

How to apply

  1. Check the eligibility criteria.
  2. Gather together the required documentation.
  3. Select the 'Apply online' button.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the form.
  5. Read and confirm:
    1. the privacy statement
    2. the declaration
    3. the terms and conditions of the payment.
  6. Submit your application.

Note: Once you have submitted your application, all parties will receive a confirmation email with a reference number.

NSW Fair Trading will review the application and all parties will be emailed the outcome.

If further information is required, you'll be emailed and asked to submit the documentation requested, using a secure link in the email.

Information for tenants

To be an eligible COVID-19 impacted tenant, you must:

  • show that rent paying members of your household are impacted by COVID-19 and have:
    • lost employment, work hours or income due to COVID restrictions, or
    • had to stop working because you or other members of your household (or in your care) were/are ill with COVID.
  • show that the household's take-home income has reduced by 25% or more (including any government assistance received) compared to other weekly income received in the 4 weeks before 26 June 2021
  • pay 25% of the usual rent to remain eligible unless the landlord agrees to a lesser rent payment.

Reasonable evidence to support your claim as a COVID-19 impacted tenant includes:

  • payslips or bank statements showing reduced income
  • documentation from an employer(s) showing job termination/stand-down or reduced hours
  • evidence of a business closure or business records showing loss of takings
  • Centrelink confirmation of eligibility for financial assistance
  • medical certificates.

If a landlord or managing agent will not agree to apply for a payment, or will not provide consent once applications open to tenants, you can obtain assistance from NSW Fair Trading by completing an application for rent negotiation – PDF and lodging an enquiry.

Do not submit personal financial documentation with your application. If it is necessary, you can provide this documentation to your landlord or agent during negotiations.

Definitions

The ‘household’ includes anyone who normally contributes to the rent – even if they are not on the lease agreement. For example, an adult child contributing to the rent of their parent/s or, the person operating the company shown on the lease.

'Take-home income' is the net income earned (after tax and/or business-related expenses). It includes any government assistance that is received – either before and/or since COVID support payments were introduced by the NSW and Commonwealth governments. Savings and superannuation are not included in take-home income.

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