'Don't evict me': the letter to send your landlord if you can't pay rent
With 8 million Australians renting three million properties, what do you do if you can't pay the rent because of the impact of coronavirus?
So far state and federal governments haven't announced measures to freeze rents. Banks are giving customers help with their loans, but this doesn't help renters.
Pressure is mounting to help renters with more than 80 organisations and experts around Australia calling on all Commonwealth, state and territory governments to put a stop on evictions because of unpaid rent during the COVID-19 health crisis.
They want a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and before the stop on evictions is lifted, governments must have a plan to ensure the whole community can recover, and not leave some burdened with debt.
"Many workers, especially contractors and casual workers, will suffer from lost incomes. Many will fall into rent arrears and be at risk of termination and eviction. People facing eviction are less able to take actions required to minimise transmission of COVID19, particularly where they become homeless, and will become more vulnerable to illness," according to the statement from tenancy groups, welfare organisations and academics.
There is some financial help on offer but the extra coronavirus supplement payment of $550 a fortnight to new and existing income support recipients will not be paid until April 27.
In the meantime, tenants.org.au has a pro forma letter for you to send to your landlord, written by one of its community members, Sage.