From September 30, the Queensland Government will lift its ban on the eviction of residential tenants unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial leaseholders will have until at least the end of the year, after their moratorium was extended.
Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr told the ABC she was baffled by the different treatment for residential and commercial tenants.
“It’s incomprehensible that we’ve lifted the evictions moratorium for residential tenants but not commercial tenants,” Ms Carr said.
“I just can’t understand how we can think that in one circumstance we need to keep the protections in place and in the other we don’t.”
Ms Carr released a statement further expressing her disappointment in the decision.
“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.
“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 tender hooks; fearful they would not be able to keep a roof over their heads through Christmas. For some that will now be the reality”
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”.
“Because of our strong health response, we’ve been able to keep the economy more open and we’ve already started delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“As a result, we’ve seen Queensland’s economy fare better than other economies.”
Queensland has had 1149 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, having conducted over a million tests. Six Queenslanders have died from the virus.
Ms Carr notes the Queensland government have decided to “go it alone” in not extending the moratorium, pointing out that Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria have extending their moratoriums to March, 2021, with Tasmania extending theirs to December, 2020.