Urgent legislation to implement a range of measures to minimise financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on tenants and landlords of both commercial and residential tenancies will be introduced into State Parliament this week.
Note: the below information is not effective until the legislation has been passed.
New legislation has been developed to put into place a six month moratorium on evictions and other measures relating to commercial tenancies in order to address the financial impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus, including introduction of a code of conduct.
The aim of the legislation is to help small and medium-sized enterprises that are in financial distress to survive the current restrictions.
The Commercial Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 will introduce:
- a six month moratorium on evictions due to non-payment of rent;
- a freeze on rent increases;
- restrictions on penalties for tenants who do not trade or reduced their trading hours;
- prohibitions on charging interest on rent arrears;
- the introduction of a dispute resolution process; and
- an ability for government to prescribed a code of conduct.
New legislation has been developed, but not yet passed through parliament, to put into place a six month moratorium on evictions and other measures relating to residential tenancies to address the financial impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The proposed Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 will:
- introduce a moratorium on eviction for six months except in limited circumstances including, for example, if a tenant is causing serious damage to the property or injury to the landlord or a person in adjacent premises; the landlord or tenant is experiencing undue hardship; a tenant is experiencing family violence and the perpetrator needs to be evicted; the tenant abandons the premises; or the agreement is frustrated;
- prohibit rent increases during the emergency period;
- provide that any fixed term tenancy agreement due to expire during the emergency period will continue as a periodic agreement;
- relieve lessors of the obligation to conduct ordinary repairs if the reason they cannot do so is COVID-19 related financial hardship or a lawful restriction on movement; and
- enable a tenant to end a fixed term tenancy prior to its end date without incurring break lease fees (tenants will still be liable for damage and rent arrears).
The proposed changes will apply to residential tenancies agreements under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (WA), long-stay agreements under the Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2006 (WA) and boarders and lodgers. They will also apply to all public housing tenancies and government employee housing provided by the Housing Authority.
If you have any questions about the information above please contact the team at Abbotts, we will be happy to assist you. You can find details to get in touch with us on our contact us page.
The above information was sourced from a media statement provided by the Premier of Western Australia, Hon Mark McGowan and Attorney General, Hon John Quigley. All contents copyright © Government of Western Australia.