Australia

Government stresses importance of paying rent despite eviction moratorium

As the national cabinet prepares to discuss the coronavirus pandemic's impact on housing, a senior minister has called for balance between tenants and owners.

The six-month moratorium on evictions does not mean Australians can stop paying rent, Housing Minister Michael Sukkar says.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders will meet on Friday to discuss minimum standards and rules around residential and commercial rents.

The standards will flesh out the principle of a six-month moratorium on evictions.

Many renters are under pressure as the coronavirus forces businesses to shed staff.

Business operators are in trouble as revenue dries up.

"There is a moratorium on evictions but not a moratorium on the requirement to pay rents," Mr Sukkar told the ABC on Wednesday.

He said landlords and tenants should "share the pain".

Many renters are under pressure as the coronavirus forces businesses to shed staff.
Many renters are under pressure as the coronavirus forces businesses to shed staff.
AAP

"We don't want to see people evicted but does that not absolve people of their responsibility to pay their rent," he said.

Some states are looking at conditions under which evictions can still occur, such as when there is damage to the property or illegal conduct.

"There is a very delicate balance here between landlords and tenants," Mr Sukkar said of such moves.

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