Applications open for new rent relief grants

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Consumer Protection is encouraging landlords and tenants to act and negotiate in good faith to agree on reasonable and workable tenancy arrangements. File picture

APPLICATIONS are open under the residential rent relief grant scheme to help tenants who are struggling financially to meet rent payments.

Renters who are facing a significant rent increase they are unable to afford can apply.

But their landlord must agree to a fixed-term lease of at least six months beyond March 28, 2021.

The grant is capped at $2000 per tenancy.

Tenants will be able to apply for the grants if they satisfy the following criteria:

  • Receive a Centrelink payment as their primary income (excluding Jobkeeper)
  • Have less than $10,000 in savings
  • Pay more than 25 per cent of their income in rent per week
  • Are tenants or sub-tenants in a private residential property, rooming house or residential park (includes community housing)
  • Have a tenancy agreement in place as at December 1, 2020 (includes boarders and lodgers with an agreement)
  • Have a bond lodged with the Bond Administrator (if required under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987).

Rent arrears assistance is also available to help tenants pay their outstanding rent debt that arose before December 1, last year.

Grants for 75 per cent of rent arrears, up to a maximum of $4000, will be paid directly to eligible landlords.

This includes any rent that was waived or reduced during the moratorium emergency period.

Tenants can get further details and apply for the grants online at www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/covidrentgrant

Applications close on June 28 but the total grant funding of $30 million, depending on demand, may be claimed prior to this date.