Some landlords will never be repaid rental arrears when an eviction moratorium is lifted after Sunday, the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania says.
The government at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in Tasmania put in place a moratorium on evictions due to non-payment of rent.
The moratorium put a halt on rent price hikes due to take place from April 23, including on price rises where notice had been given prior to the date.
AUSTRALIA DAY 2021 IN NORTHERN TASMANIA:
The moratorium was extended three times last year and will draw to a close on January 31, despite pleas from community sector organisations for further extension until the end of March as is the case in other states.
The state's tenants union believes some Tasmanians will be soon forced into homelessness.
REIT president Mandy Welling said tenants should not fear unreasonable rent increases from next week.
"If there are increases, it would be out of necessity and reflective of costs like an increase in land tax," she said.
Ms Welling said some landlords may increase rents due to lack of income received from tenants over the moratorium.
"Having an investment property is essentially like having a business and the business needs to remain viable," she said.
A tenant is able to take any rent increase they deem excessive or unreasonable to the state's Residential Tenancy Commissioner for determination.
Ms Welling said a tenant who had fallen behind in their rent, even after receiving government financial support, could apply to the commissioner for leniency against eviction once the moratorium ended.
"If they can prove sincere financial hardship, they cannot be evicted," she said.
Ms Welling said unfortunately some landlords will never have the totality of their rental arrears repaid, despite the ability to establish payment plans.
She said default of a payment under a payment plan would lead to eviction.
Data from the Justice Department released late last year showed there was $251,787 in rental arrears listed as owed through applications to the Landlord Support Fund as of December 11.
As of that date, $967,451 had been paid to 1128 tenants from the Rental Relief Fund and $756,351 had been paid to 800 tenants from the Rental Relief Extra Support Fund.
As of 11 December, $428,417 had been paid to 323 landlords from the Landlord Support Fund and $87,541 had been paid to 58 landlords from the Landlord Extra Support Fund.
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