The Government has announced a further extension of their residential tenancy interventions which will mean landlords who are owed thousands will have to wait another eight weeks before they can take any action to recoup the money they are fairly owed for the product they have provided.
The new date for the interventions lifting is 31 January 2021, but that date is essentially worthless. All indications from the Government to landlords were that the 1 December 2020 date would be the end. Landlords have been misled and a fair assumption is that this has been intentional given their unwillingness to face any tough questions and habit of blatantly ignoring any disgruntlement and feedback.
President of the Tasmanian Residential Rental Property Owners Association, Louise Elliot, is stunned by what has occurred, especially given the recent changes to the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 which state that COVID-19 has to be in the State for an emergency period to be declared or extended.
“Tasmania has been COVID-19-free for over 100 days so instead they’re claiming the economy is the issue. Do they not know we are in a recession? Does this mean landlords will need to wait for that to end before their Notice to Vacate can have any effect? Or will the roll out of vaccination or the touch down of international arrives be sufficient?”
“Landlords will have waited over a year or more in many cases to be paid what they are owed. They wouldn’t try that with any of the big players, how on earth is it OK to do this to everyday people?”
It cannot be forgotten that landlords have been exclusively selected to be the only seller that does not have to be paid. This phenomenal intervention should have only been implemented (if at all) for the absolute minimum time to limit the widespread and inevitable damage that such a drastic action was bound to cause. If you are going to rip apart the fundamentals of contract law and the buyer-seller transaction that underpins our economy, don’t drag it on.
Association Member, Lucy is 29 and works but is also studying part-time. She bought her property in 2014 and is owed over $5,000, even after access the government’s rent payment programs.
“It is devastating. My tenant stopped paying even though they’re still working in a government job. It really makes no sense as even for those who have lost work income support is still there.
“My tenant has taken advantage of the rule because they could and she’s not the only one. It makes me sick that tax-payers are paying rent for people like that” she said.
Association President, Louise Elliot, is questioning the government’s motivations for this most recent last-minute extension.
“Pressure from other parties and organisations is bound to be part of it, but the next election will undoubtedly front and centre too.
“The government clearly has no backbone and has taken the easy route here as tenants outnumber landlords by far, so they are willing to sacrifice landlords for votes,” she said.