Renters will be offered a moratorium on evictions, in a bid to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a series of principles had been agreed at Sunday night's national cabinet.
"The most significant of those is that states and territories will be moving to put a moratorium on evictions of persons as a result of financial distress ... for the next six months," he said.
Further work is being done by federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and his state and territory counterparts on commercial tenancies.
But Mr Morrison underlined the need for landlords to work with their tenants and banks on solutions, which should start immediately.
"We need you to sit down, talk to each other and work this out," he said.
Measures will be put in place to encourage agreements, as part of the idea of "hibernating" businesses until the coronavirus crisis passes.
"There is no rule book for this," Mr Morrison said.
"We are in unchartered territory, but the goal should be shared and that is a business can reopen on the other side, not weighed down by excessive debts because of rental arrears, a landlord has a tenant so that they can continue into the future to be able to support the investments that they have made and banks have clients."
Australian Associated Press
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