Victorian tenants struggling to pay rent due to the coronavirus will be temporarily protected from eviction under a $500 million rent relief package.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Wednesday a six-month ban on evictions and rent increases for both commercial and residential tenants, as well as tax relief for landlords.
"We will support the most vulnerable, but also make sure that landlords and tenants are getting the benefit of these arrangements," he told reporters.
About $420 million will go towards land tax relief, while an $80 million fund will be set up for renters facing hardship due to the virus.
Eligible renters will need to have registered their revised agreement with Consumer Affairs or gone through mediation, have less than $5000 in savings and be paying at least 30 per cent of their income in rent.
Small businesses with an annual turnover of under $50 million that have been hit with 30 per cent or more in revenue reduction because of coronavirus can also be granted rental waivers or deferrals.
Melbourne skyline from Albert Park. Source: James Moy Photography/PA Images
The new measures will be backdated to March 29 for six months, as agreed by the national cabinet.
On Monday, the NSW Government announced a $440 million support package for commercial and residential tenants that offers relief through land tax waivers and rebates.
The six-month support package will include a moratorium on applications for forced residential evictions due to rental arrears for households financially disadvantaged by the pandemic.
Residential landlords and tenants will be required to negotiate rental payments in good faith in circumstances where a household has lost at least 25 per cent of its income because of the coronavirus.
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