REIA welcomes end of moratorium on rental evictions

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has welcomed the end of rental eviction moratoriums in many states but has urged landlords and tenants to keep the lines of communication open. 

REIA President Adrian Kelly said the rental eviction moratoriums had not been catastrophic but said governments should carefully consider their options when it came to future policies.

“We thank those agents who have worked hard to support both investors and tenants over this challenging period but with the end of JobKeeper, it is important there is a dialogue between landlords, agents and tenants,” Mr Kelly said. 

He advised tenants to reach out and speak with their agent or landlord if they were unable to meet their legal commitments.

“The rental eviction moratorium was the absolute right decision last March and played a critical role in keeping Australians housed over the initial lockdown, which successfully flattened the COVID-19 curve,” he said. 

He said with vaccinations now being rolled out, it was time to refocus on housing support policies and allow both investors and tenants to make choices that suit their financial and housing needs at this stage of the pandemic.” 

Mr Kelly said that in turn, governments need to find a new policy to deal with rental stress. 

“Many landlords were able to postpone mortgage repayments during the restrictions but still have to repay the debt so further extensions to the moratoriums could create financial stress across the board.” 

He noted that landlord support programs in many states and territories were undersubscribed “and should be used to help those that need it if they are working in sectors that are taking longer to recover from the COVID-19 economic shock”. 

“At the end of the day, issues around tenants being impacted by COVID-19 and their ability to pay rent has not been anywhere near what was expected in early 2020, which is a testament to the suite of economic policies available for all Australians,” he said.

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