NSW Expect an announcement this weekend on new tenancy legislation in NSW

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Simon Hampel, 9th Apr, 2020.

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  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Just attended a webinar hosted by the REINSW which was attended by someone from NSW Fair Trading.

    They said to expect an announcement about the new legislation in NSW over the weekend (not guaranteed - up to the premier as to timing) - with full details hopefully available after Wednesday once they've gone through the proper legal processes (meeting with the governor on Wed I believe).

    It was clearly stated a number of times that this is an eviction moratorium, not a rent moratorium - tenants are still expected to pay their rent. However, they also said that tenants in financial difficulty should negotiate with their landlords.

    The process is generally (going from my notes - might not be 100% accurate):
    1. negotiate with landlord
    2. utilise the NSW Fair Trading dispute resolution service (informal, generally quicker)
    3. if dispute resolution doesn't help, disutilise the NSW Fair Trading mediation service (more formal, slower)
    4. if all else fails, rely on NCAT to make a judgement (quite slow)
    NSW Fair Trading are reallocating staff to try and help these processes work.

    For OS students unable to access financial support, the suggestion was to contact the Salvation Army who have a long history of providing support to people (eg refugees) who are unable to access government support directly

    For sales where vacant possession is a condition of sale, the sale process should be unaffected and tenants will need to vacate.

    Previous NCAT orders for eviction enacted prior to the moratorium will stand.

    NCAT is still dealing with evictions relating to property damage and so on - all other rules seem to be in place. It's just financial hardship based evictions which are not allowed.

    No discussion about end of lease evictions - hopefully legislation will cover that.

    They did stress that all state legislation is being discussed at the federal level with the goal of having largely similar outcomes nationwide.

    So still not a lot of clarity, but I think we're largely going to have to rely on our various state fair trading offices for dispute resolution and mediation in a lot of cases.
     
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  2. Mel Morgan

    Mel Morgan Sydney Property Manager Business Member

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    Was there any discussion on financial support for owners that assist their tenants: reduce land tax/rates etc?
    I feel like I'm going grey waiting...waiting for something.
     
  3. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    The government should provide some sort of hand out for landlords. Just about everyone else seems to be getting one.
     
  4. Tony3008

    Tony3008 Well-Known Member

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    No, assistance to tenants. Say interest-free loans of (say) 80% of rent due (am open to argument that LLs should share some of the pain), payment direct to landlords. ATO would recover ~30% of this through tax. And a good few tenants might decide they can find the rent rather than taking on an inescapable debt.
     
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  5. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    No discussion - whole thing was a bit lightweight really and none of my questions were presented.
     
  6. snoopy

    snoopy Well-Known Member

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    Why not? Everyone else seems to be getting it. When the government is spending $120billion on wages subsidy I am sure a few billion for landlords won’t hurt
     
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  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    It's where it goes - put it in the hands of the hand-to-mouth clan or workers and it'll be spent. Give it to landlords & it'll end up in the hands of the Banks.
     
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  8. G..

    G.. Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious as to how "financial hardship" will be judged...
    - There is a small portion of tenants who will try to take advantage and whose word shouldn't be relied upon as to whether they are in hardship. I am wondering if it will be acceptable for a landlord to ask the tenant for details (job loss, centrelink applications, etc) as part of the negotiation, dispute resolution, mediation, or NCAT.
    - And will it be contingent on the tenant taking advantage of all options available. Drawing down on Super has a very similar compounding effect as taking a loan repayment "holiday" where the interest capitalises. It will be interesting to see if tenants are going to be made to do this in order to meet their rent payment (or part of it).

    Maybe the Easter Bunny will bring some answers!

    You've got that right! (unfortunately).
     
  9. Anchor

    Anchor Well-Known Member

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    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-unveils-440m-rental-rescue-package-20200412-p54j65.html

    A six-month support package for residential tenants and landlords facing financial stress due to COVID-19 includes an interim moratorium on applications for forced evictions due to rental arrears.

    If a household is struggling to pay rent because of loss of income due to coronavirus there is a new obligation for both parties to negotiate before the landlord can seek a forced end to the tenancy.

    Tenants will be protected from eviction until the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal is satisfied that negotiations have concluded. Any unpaid rent will accrue as arrears during this period.
     
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  10. ff3

    ff3 Active Member

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    Rest of it...

    Mr Perrottet said residential landlords would be eligible for a land tax waiver or rebate of up to 25 per cent if they passed the saving on to tenants in financial distress.

    Whilst I'm expecting that this may help a lot of the fellow posters, reckon that quite a few people will miss out, predominantly your mum and dad investors who've only got a single IP under the land tax threshold (myself included).

    Following the ACT announcement last week I expected this was the way that NSW was going to go but fortunately I have a good buffer built up to cover myself.
     
    Last edited: 13th Apr, 2020
  11. Mel Morgan

    Mel Morgan Sydney Property Manager Business Member

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    ACT are also allowing council rates rebates which I hoped NSW would do also, but only land tax is only helping a portion of people and will be more complex in terms of attempting to apportion between properties :(
     
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  12. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Land tax is only a component of expenses, at least residential tenancies don't have it applied with any visibility whereas commercial properties have it applied on a single holding basis so the tenant already benefits from the threshold.
     
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  13. abc_123

    abc_123 Well-Known Member

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    But all investors pay land tax in the ACT because there is no threshold.
     
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  14. abc_123

    abc_123 Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know they are offering a $150 rebate on rates I think applies to owner occupiers and investors, but that isn't very generous since planned large rate hikes are still going ahead so it will just be less of an increase.

    Nothing on rates for investors who reduce rents as far as I know, deferrment for hardship I think but no freebies.
     
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  15. Mel Morgan

    Mel Morgan Sydney Property Manager Business Member

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    When this goes through the media it just sets a further expectation by tenants in NSW that they can claim a rent deduction from their landlords when in reality it would only apply to a portion of people. I would much rather it was rebated off a cost that was charged to all investors and directly attributed to each investment property.
     
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  16. ff3

    ff3 Active Member

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  17. JoannaK

    JoannaK Well-Known Member

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    The Parliament has been recalled and will be sitting on 11 May to discuss the landlord/tenant matter further.
     
  18. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    LOL - it will be all over by then and the tenants all back to work :p :rolleyes:
     
  19. JoannaK

    JoannaK Well-Known Member

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    I know.....it's been handled fairly poorly I think