Rent relief grants in Australia

Tenants suffering significant financial hardship across Australia may be eligible for rent relief grants. Here’s what’s available.

NEW SOUTH WALES

  • What’s it called? NSW quickly followed QLD’s suit by announcing a $440 million package, with half of that going towards tenants and residential landlords. However, there is no direct cash handout, like in other states.
  • What’s available? Private renters looking for NSW Government assistance can visit the COVID-19 Assistance Finder to see what support options are available.

VICTORIA

  • What’s it called? Rental Relief Grant
  • What’s available? Grants of up to $3,000 for Victorians experiencing rental hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Who receives the grant? The grant is paid directly to the tenant’s agent, lessor or landlord to contribute to the tenant’s rental payments under their new rental agreement.
  • Eligibility: The grant will assist renters in Victoria experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus (COVID-19), who have, or will shortly have, a bond registered with the Victorian Residential Tenancies Bond Authority. To be eligible for the grant you will need to have registered a reduced rental agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria. Deferral of rent is not considered a rent reduction and therefore does not meet the eligibility criteria. Your household income must be less than $1,903 per week, and you have less than $5,000 in savings and still be paying at least 30 per cent of your income in rent.
  • Apply at: The VIC Government website

QUEENSLAND

  • What was it called? COVID-19 Rental Grant
  • What was available? The COVID-19 Rental Grant was a one-off payment of up to 4 weeks rent (maximum of $2,000) available to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who do not have access to other financial assistance.
  • Applications for a COVID-19 Rental Grant closed at 5pm on 27 April 2020.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  • What’s it called? Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme
  • What’s available? Grants of up to $2,000 for Western Australian private residential tenants who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on or after 20 March 2020.
  • Who receives the grant? The tenant applies for the grant, but it will be paid directly to the landlord. Both the landlord and tenant must agree to the terms and conditions before the grant is paid.
  • Eligibility: You are eligible for the grant if you’re a tenant or sub-tenant in a residential property, or a resident living in a rooming house, or residential park. You must also be in ‘financial hardship,’ meaning you lost your job on or after 20 March 2020, due to COVID-19, have less than $10,000 in savings, and you pay 25% or more of your current after-tax income in rent per week.
  • Apply at: The WA Government website

South Australia

  • What’s it called? Residential Rental Grant Scheme
  • What’s available? A once-off $1,000 rental grant for residential landlords who reduce the rent of a tenant experiencing rental hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Who receives the grant? The landlord or agent acting on their behalf will receive the grant directly if all eligibility criteria are met. The tenant(s) benefit through the reduction in rent payable to the landlord.
  • Eligibility: The grant may be paid where the tenant is receiving Commonwealth JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, has less than $5,000 in savings and is paying more than 30% of their current income in rent. The landlord must also have provided rent relief to the tenant(s) within the period 30 March 2020 to 30 September 2020.
  • Apply at: The South Australian Government website

TASMANIA

  • What’s it called? Tasmanian Government COVID-19 Rent Relief Scheme
  • What’s available? The COVID-19 Rent Relief payment will contribute to or be equal to the rent reduction provided until 30 September 2020, but will not exceed $2,000.
  • Who receives the grant? The payment is made directly to the landlord or agent to contribute to the tenant’s modified rental payments, under their temporary rental reduction agreement.
  • Eligibility: A tenant is eligible for rent relief if they’re renting in the private rental market and has experienced and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Their rent must be more than 30% of their household income. The tenant must also have less than $5,000 in savings.
  • Apply at: The Department of Communities Tasmania