COVID-19 restrictions are in force for Melbourne and have been extended another 7 days past Thursday, 3 June. Here’s what you need to know about the lockdown and where to get tenancy support.
New COVID-19 measures are now in place across Melbourne.
What ongoing restrictions are in place from 11:59 PM on 3 June?
On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, the current restrictions in Melbourne will remain in place for a further seven days with some small changes.
From 11:59 PM on Thursday, 3 June, there will only be five reasons to leave home, including shopping for food and supplies, authorised work and study, care and caregiving, exercise and getting vaccinated.
Other restrictions, including mask-wearing remain in place.
For more information on the current restrictions, news updates and FAQs, visit the Victorian Government website.
>> Have tenancy questions? Join the Rent.com.au Community on Facebook today.
Moving home during Victoria’s lockdown
The following information has been provided by the Victorian Government and is available on their Homes and Property page.
- I had arranged to move to a new house – can I still go ahead? Yes. You are still able to move to a new house if you had already arranged to move. You should take extra steps to stay safe, including wearing a face mask. If your new house is located more than 5km from your current house, you are still able to move.
- Can friends or family help me move house? The people you live with can assist you in moving house. Others, such as friends, family, or your partner, can only assist you in moving house if care and support are required due to age, health issues or disability. Where possible, it is encouraged that you postpone moving house until after the circuit breaker restrictions.
- Can I rent a vehicle to help me move house? If you had already arranged to move, you could rent a vehicle to assist you with moving. The vehicle rental should only be for the time required to complete your move. Car rental businesses must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place, including appropriate cleaning in between uses. Where possible, it is encouraged that you postpone moving house until after the circuit breaker restrictions.
- Are removalists able to work under current restrictions? Yes. You can use a removalist to support vacating a property under current restrictions. Friends, family, or partners not from your household can only assist you in moving house where care and support are required due to age, health issues or disability. Where possible, it is encouraged that you postpone moving until after the circuit breaker restrictions.
- If I’m moving house, can I have a cleaner? Yes, but only if you require a cleaner due to disability, impairment or as a result of your tenancy agreement. Where possible, it is encouraged that you postpone moving house until after the circuit-breaker restrictions.
MAINTAINING YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY
- Can urgent and critical maintenance occur under current restrictions? Maintenance and repair activities can only be completed for emergency reasons and/or to meet environmental or safety obligations. Routine and non-urgent maintenance and warranty work should be deferred to after circuit-breaker restrictions.
- What is considered an emergency repair for a tradesperson to visit? Emergency repairs are urgent repairs that must be undertaken to keep members of the household safe, prevent household members from injury, prevent property damage or damage to goods, or for urgent repair to an essential service (for example, a water connection or internet service). If you need to have a tradesperson over, maintain your distance, wear a face mask, and minimise physical contact by paying with a direct bank transfer or contactless payment.
I’m renting. Where can I get help during the 7-day lockdown?
If you’re looking for extra tenancy support during Victoria’s 7-day lockdown, these organisations may be able to assist you in a range of areas.
|National Debt Hotline||1800 007 007. Weekdays, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM.||National Debt Hotline|
|Salvation Army||13 72 58||Salvation Army|
|‘Ask Izzy’ search tool (find local services in your area)||N/A||Ask Izzy|
|Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre||1800 015 188, 24/7||Safe Steps|
|Financial and other support (Victorian Government)||N/A||Coronavirus.vic.gov.au|
|Lifeline Australia||13 11 14, 24/7||Lifeline Australia|
Victorian COVID-19 renter protections (past and current)
The Victorian Government’s temporary COVID-19 renter protections ended at midnight on 28 March 2021. These protections included the end of the eviction moratorium, rent reduction mediation service, rent relief grant scheme, and freeze on rent rises.
- Eviction moratorium: If you were renting and fell behind in rent due to financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, you were protected by the moratorium on giving notices to vacate. The moratorium ended at midnight on 28 March 2021.
- Rent reduction mediation service: The rent reduction mediation service was designed to help you negotiate lower rents with your rental providers (landlords) under the Victorian Government’s Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Scheme. This service ended at midnight on 28 March 2021.
- Notice periods for renters: Under the temporary protections, the notice period for tenants who needed to end their tenancy due to COVID-19 hardship was reduced to 14 days. This period ended at midnight on 28 March 2021.
- Family violence: Protection for family violence victims continues. Shortened notice periods and protection from lease break and compensation claims for renters who needed to end their tenancy due to family violence and hardship before midnight on 28 March 2021 still apply.
- Rent relief grants: The Victorian Government made available a rent relief grant, a subsidy up to $3,000 for renters who had negotiated rent reduction agreements but were still paying more than 30% of their income as rent. If you had already made rent reduction agreements and/or had a referral number from Consumer Affairs Victoria by midnight on 28 March 2021, you can still apply. If you had a dispute registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria and were referred to VCAT, you may also be able to apply if VCAT makes an order. The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, will continue to assess these applications and deal with other matters relating to the grant. More information is available on the Housing VIC website.
- Rent increase freeze: The freeze on rent increases ended at midnight on 28 March 2021. Your rental provider can now serve you with a Notice of Rent Increase. The minimum notice time is 60 days. If you started your tenancy after 19 June 2019, your rental provider can only increase your rent once in 12 months. If your tenancy started before that date, six-monthly rent increases can still occur.