A new rental grant has been announced for Queensland tenants who have been financially significantly impacted by the coronavirus. The State Government initiative will provide a one-off grant of up to $2,000 for tenants who are worried about paying their rent and are experiencing financial hardship. It’s important for tenants to understand that the grant is only available to Queenslanders who need it the most and have exhausted all other options.
According to the State Government, the COVID-19 Rental Grant is a one-off payment of up to four weeks rent (maximum of $2000) available to those affected by the pandemic who do not have access to other financial assistance.
The grant is paid directly to the landlord and is being administered by the Residential Tenancies Authority.
It appears the grant has been designed to assist tenants in the period before other financial assistance measures are available to them.
Image Property manages thousands of rental properties and since the start of the coronavirus crisis it’s become clear that a small percentage of tenants are experiencing financial stress due to job loss.
Prior to this announcement, as well as the JobKeeper wage subsidy, our office had spoken with tenants and landlords worried about their financial situations.
There is no doubt that the wage subsidy, as well as the rental grant, will go a long way towards helping alleviate these concerns.
What has been particularly pleasing over recent days has been the willingness of both tenants and landlords to address any issues in a collaborative manner.
Both parties have been open and honest about their individual circumstances and have been respectful of each other’s specific situations.
We believe there will be an announcement in coming days on the moratorium on rental evictions.
However, information released so far appears to indicate that it is a policy for people with no access to any financial assistance who are undergoing severe financial hardship.
The rental grant also has a number of criteria which must be meet. These are:
- you live in Queensland
- you have, or will shortly have, a bond registered with the Residential Tenancies Authority
- you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or have a temporary or permanent protection visa or possess a bridging visa
- you do not have more than $10,000 in cash and savings
- you can provide evidence of attempts to negotiate a payment plan with your lessor
- you have lost your job and have applied to Centrelink for income support
- you are waiting for your application with Centrelink to be approved.
Essentially, what this means is that tenants who are worried about paying their rent should also have contacted their property managers prior to applying for the grant.
You can learn more about the Queensland COVID-19 Rental Grant here.