QUEENSLAND businesses have been granted a three-month extension from evictions until the end of the year whilst the government implements measures for a return to rent normality for residential tenants.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said this extended moratorium will be a shot in the arm for Queensland jobs and the economy.
“It means that to the end of 2020 commercial leaseholders under affected leases can’t have their lease terminated if they fall into arrears as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Since the moratorium was introduced in March, landlords and tenants have worked together in good faith to tackle the economic challenges we’re facing. This extension is about giving businesses, and the thousands of workers they employ, the certainty they need in these challenging times,” D’Ath said.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said extending the code means that it is not too late for businesses to come forward and receive assistance under the code until December 31.
“Today’s announcement is a huge relief for the many small businesses that are still struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fentiman said.
For residential property, the government has implement measures including protection for tenants from being listed in a tenancy database for unpaid rent caused by COVID-19 impacts; limited reletting costs for eligible tenants who end their fixed lease early; and relaxed repair and maintenance obligations.
“The freeze on evictions was important in the residential sector when movement in Queensland was much more restricted,” Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said.
“Because of our strong health response, we’ve been able to keep the economy more open and we’ve already started delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“This includes supporting businesses because that means supporting jobs.
“As a result, we’ve seen Queensland’s economy fare better than other economies.”
The Residential Tenancies Authority’s latest COVID-19 conciliation data shows that tenants and property owners had worked together to resolve 1,677 disputes since April. The volume of calls to the RTA has significantly reduced since the start of the year.