Tasmania had some of the best COVID-19 rental moratoriums and relief in Australia, according to a new report, which also warns of the negative implications for some at-risk renters when Federal income support measures stop.
The report released by University of New South Wales and the Australian Council of Social Service found that Tasmania, along with Western Australia and Victoria, had the strongest moratoriums in the country.
This was because the state did not restrict its measures to just a very narrow group of affected tenants, and instead offered a blanket rule for all tenants and landlords on rent rises and evictions.
"Tasmania did not distinguish between groups and implemented the most complete moratorium," the report said.
"It stopped landlords from seeking termination on all grounds except nuisance, illegal use of premises and a new COVID-specific hardship ground.
"Although from June it also allowed termination on the grounds that the premises were destined for sale, renovation or for housing the landlord's own family."
The report also warned that the end of income support measures would give rise to issues.
"With the eviction moratoriums also due to expire in the new year, supported households who do not snap back to their full pre-COVID-19 employment status and income will be at risk," the report warned.
"Especially if they are carrying deferred rent liabilities from the emergency," it wrote.
"We may yet see cause for further extensions...we may also see calls, perhaps under the banner of 'rent relief', for governments to pay landlords to settle those liabilities."
Premier Peter Gutwein said Tasmania was the first state to legislate protections for landlords and tenants experiencing severe hardship.
"We have extended the support already offered through the COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund and COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund until 31 March 2021 as a transitional measure.
The rent arrears payment orders...outline a schedule for repayments in addition to normal rent obligations, and in turn protect them from eviction."
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