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Canberra tenants given a break on break fees

Changes made to Canberra’s Residential Tenancies Act this week mean that residential tenants who have been financially impacted by the pandemic will not have to pay the usual ‘break fees’ for terminating a fixed-term lease.

In addition, tenants across the territory can now give three weeks notice when breaking a fixed-term lease without needing to file an official application through the tribunal.

“In these circumstances, tenants will not be charged a break lease fee or be required to pay additional compensation,” Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said.

“However, if they have fallen into rental arrears during the tenancy this money would still be owed as a debt to their landlords.”

An extension on the eviction moratorium has also been granted.

“This new measure will provide additional support to COVID-19 impacted tenants by removing the need for them to make an application to the ACAT to terminate their tenancy due to hardship.”

Under the new amendment, if one member of the household has lost 25 per cent or more of their income due to COVID-19, tenants are considered ‘financially impacted.’

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