The evolving COVID-19 pandemic has been a tough time for many Queenslanders.
To support tenants during this time, the Queensland Government has passed laws to implement the National Cabinet’s temporary six-month freeze on evictions, which have now been implemented in every state and territory.
Under the COVID-19 freeze on evictions, tenants who are significantly impacted by or suffering excessive hardship because of COVID-19 – meaning you fulfil both criteria listed below – cannot be evicted or listed in a tenancy database.
You have been impacted by COVID-19 in any of the following ways:
they or someone they care for suffers from COVID-19;
their place of employment, trade or business is closed or restricted by public health directions;
they are self-isolating because they are a vulnerable person, or live with or are a primary carer of a vulnerable person;
a travel restriction imposed by a public health direction or other law prevents them working or returning home, or
the COVID-19 emergency has prevented them leaving or returning to Australia
You have suffered a loss of income of 25% or more, or the rent payable is now 30% or more of your household’s income.
Fixed term agreements due to expire during the COVID-19 pandemic must also be extended to 30 September 2020 unless the tenant requests a shorter term.
Tenants who have not been affected to this level will still need to meet their tenancy obligations, including paying their rent as normal.
If you are having trouble paying your rent, you should talk with your property owner or manager about what is affordable and ask to renegotiate your rental agreement. This might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it is important to try and self-resolve. And if you can’t reach an agreement, the RTA’s experienced conciliators can help you negotiate together through our free dispute resolution service.
If your income has been impacted by COVID-19 and it is making it hard for you to pay your rent it’s important that you also apply for any financial relief that may be available for you, such as Commonwealth income support.
New changes now also give tenants experiencing domestic and family violence more options to end their tenancy arrangements. This will enable you to put plans in place to protect your families and to leave if needed.
By working together we can make renting work for everyone.