NSW Landlord & tenant responsibilities in the COVID-19 outbreak.

The National Cabinet is meeting this week and is expected to discuss the impact of COVID19 on tenancies.

Further advice will be provided as it becomes available.

The current requirements for NSW tenancies are outlined below.

There are no grounds under tenancy laws for a tenancy to be ended due to an outbreak.

Landlords can only rely on existing reasons for termination (if applicable).

If tenants have paid a holding deposit but not yet signed a tenancy agreement, the landlord   can keep the holding deposit if the tenant decides not to go ahead with the tenancy.

Landlords can also keep the holding deposit if tenants don’t take steps to agree to the tenancy within 7 days from when they paid the holding fee.

However, tenants can still contact the landlord and explain their situation and discuss the possibility of a refund.

If tenants have already signed the tenancy agreement, they need to start paying rent from the start date on the agreement, unless they and the landlord agree to change the start date.

If tenants signed the tenancy agreement and decide not to go ahead with renting the property, they need to give the landlord written notice of their decision to end the tenancy.

The amount of notice tenants need to give depends on the situation. They can give their notice to end the tenancy agreement at any time, and it does not have to line up with the rent payment cycle.

RealRenta is Free for tenants, see our article: RealRenta Tenant Ledger: https://www.realrenta.com.au/blog/post/601

See also our article: Lease-Break penalty fees (NSW Landlord): https://www.realrenta.com.au/blog/post/662

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Source: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/resource-library/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-faqs-consumer-and-business-rights

Jason Gwerder
Saturday, 28 March 2020

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