Queensland renters unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19 have less than two weeks before the state government lifts its eviction moratorium.

The six-month eviction moratorium to protect COVID-19 impacted tenants, which has been in place since 29 March 2020, will cease to apply from 30 September 2020.

Commercial leaseholders, however, have until at least the end of 2020, as their moratorium was extended.

Many other support measures for residential tenants will continue to apply until 31 December 2020. You can read about these upcoming changes in full on the Queensland Government’s Residential Rental Hub website.

Tenants, property owners and property managers are encouraged to continue working together and negotiating temporary tenancy variations to manage any COVID-19 impacts on their residential tenancy arrangements.  

Queensland Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said the freeze on evictions “was important in the residential sector when movement in Queensland was much more restricted”.

Mr de Brenni said the state’s strong health response meant they’d been able to keep the economy more open. “We’ve already started delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery,” he said.

“As a result, we’ve seen our economy fare better than other economies.”

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With more than a million tests performed, Queensland has had 1,150 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Six Queenslanders have died from the virus.

Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr expressed her disappointment in the different treatment for residential and commercial tenants.

“We are aware of a range of household types – single parents, two-parent families, empty nesters and singles – all of whom have been waiting anxiously for an announcement of an extension on the moratorium,” she said.

“Now they’ll be contemplating an anxious and grim lead up to Christmas as they await eviction action being taken against them.

“Many renters have been on tenterhooks; fearful they would not be able to keep a roof over their heads through Christmas. For some that will now be the reality.”

Ms Carr noted that the Queensland government has decided to “go it alone,” in not extending the moratorium.

Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria have extended their moratoriums to March 2021, with Tasmania extending to December 2020.

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