The Commissioner for Residential Tenancies, Dr Heather Holst, welcomes the announcement of a package of assistance for renters in Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reports of renters attempting to reach an agreement with their property owners have become increasingly concerning, and it is very important that this help will now be available to reach a fair position for all parties to a lease.
This pandemic is an unforeseen and far-reaching situation that has fallen very hard on many people who are renting their homes. No one should be facing homelessness because of COVID-19 and this assistance will go a long way to preventing that happening.
It is particularly pleasing to see the recognition that some of the worst affected renters need a rent subsidy on top of help to negotiate a lower rent. We would simply be postponing evictions if Victorians had to build up rent debt that is due some months down the track once the emergency measures are lifted.
Victoria leads on reform to residential tenancy law, and this package comes from that same balanced understanding of people’s needs.