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  • Relief has been extended to 30 June
  • Tasmania's rent relief program was the first in the country
  • Comes as land tax changes were announced last week

In a move different to many interstate counterparts, the Tasmanian Government has announced it will extend relief for both tenant and landlords beyond the end of this month.

The COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund and the COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund will now last until the end of this financial year – 30 June – as opposed to the original end date of Wednesday, 31 March.

Since May 2020, the program – which was the first in the country that legislated emergency protection for tenants and landlords amid the pandemic – has provided over $3.65 million of support, according to data released by the Tasmanian Government.

The extension is despite the emergency period formally ending on 31 January this year.

Under recent amendments, rent arrears payment orders allow tenants under distress to outline a schedule for repayments in addition to normal rent, which protects them from eviction.

Following the expiry of the emergency period, only five applications have been lodged for unreasonable rent increases with the Residential Tenancy Commissioner, which is consistent with the same period last year.

Elise Archer, the Minister for Building and Construction, says the extension will present more certainty to tenants and landlords.

“The Tasmanian Government has taken unprecedented action to protect Tasmanian tenants and landlords throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve always said that as we continue to recover, we will consider providing additional support.”

Elise Archer, Minister for Building and Construction

The news comes as the Tasmanian Government last week announced changes to land tax which will result in hundreds of dollars of savings annually for landowners, with 70,000 expected to benefit by up to $613 and a further 4,100 landowners to pay no tax this coming year.

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