Date posted: 27/04/2020

WA sets up relief for tenants landlords and construction

Grants for residential tenants, land tax relief for commercial landlords and a support package for the construction industry

In brief

  • A grant equivalent to 25% of the land tax bill for 2019-20 will be provided to eligible landlords that provide rent relief to their tenants
  • A grant equivalent to four-weeks' rent up to a maximum of A$2000 will be paid directly to a tenant’s landlord where a tenant has lost their job
  • A A$2000 payment will be available to eligible construction industry employers to help them keep existing apprentices and trainees

The Western Australian Government has announced a A$154.5 million relief package to support tenants, landlords and the construction industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It complements a six-month freeze on rent increases, a moratorium on evictions from 30 March, and a A$25 million small business rent relief package announced previously. 

Land tax relief for commercial landlords

Grants equivalent to 25% of the land tax bill for 2019-20 will be paid to landlords for the property in which an eligible tenant is provided relief.

To be eligible, commercial landlords must provide rent relief that equates to a minimum of three months' rent and freeze outgoings to small businesses that have suffered at least a 30% reduction in turnover due to COVID-19. 

The commercial rent relief grants will be administered through the Small Business Development Corporation, with applications opening 1 May 2020. 

Grants for residential tenants

Residential rent relief grants equivalent to four-weeks' rent up to a maximum of A$2000 will be paid directly to the tenant's landlord to contribute to the tenant's rental payments. The grants will be provided in addition to rental reductions negotiated between tenants and landlords. 

The residential rent relief grants will be administered through the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), with applications opening from 1 May 2020. 

The scheme will be available to tenants or sub-tenants who have lost their jobs, applied to Centrelink for income support, have less than A$10,000 in savings, and are still paying at least 25% of their income in rent.  

To qualify for these commercial and residential grants, landlords must agree not to seek to recover this rent relief from tenants at the end of the period. 

The WA Government has also announced A$24.5 million in support to assist the building and construction industry to maintain a skilled workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. This includes a A$2000 payment to eligible employers to maintain existing apprentices and trainees.

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