COVID-19 Housing Update (NSW): 14th April 2020

The main development has been the NSW Government announcement today on land tax relief for residential landlords ( Parliament will be recalled to pass. The available detail is gleaned from the news article and the press conference.  It is in place for six-months for tenants facing financial stress due to COVID-19 and includes an interim moratorium on applications for forced evictions due to rental arrears. There will be an obligation on both parties to negotiate and tenants will be protected from eviction until NCAT is satisfied negotiations are concluded. Unpaid rent will accrue as rent. In addition residential landlords could be eligible for a land tax waiver or rebate of up to 25 per cent if they passed the equivalent saving on to tenants in financial distress – think defined as people losing at least 25% of their income. Additional mediators will be appointed to assist with negotiations. Tenants affected will not go onto blacklists.

Of course not all landlords pay land tax – owners of a single property may well not reach the land tax threshold of circa $750K – on unimproved land.