Apply for rent relief now
Renters in Victoria only have until March 28, 2021 to register for a reduced rent agreement with their landlords and still apply for up to $3000 in rental relief.
‘There’s not a day to waste for renters facing financial hardship due to the pandemic. Please contact Consumer Affairs Victoria immediately,’ urged Tenants Victoria CEO Jennifer Beveridge (pictured above).
As we head to the ‘final countdown’ at the end of the month, Tenants Victoria as the peak body for renters in our state can help you through the process with step-by step guides accessed via our website.
The information is available in English and also translated into Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Punjabi and Dinka.
The Rent Relief Grant and Rent Reduction Scheme are part of relief emergency measures brought in by the Victorian Government last year as the COVID 19 pandemic led to income and rental hardship. The arrangements have been in place for a year but are about to expire.
Ms Beveridge said the pandemic necessitated public health restrictions – and three lockdowns – that had upended lives. Many people – including those working in restaurants, gyms, tourism, the arts and leisure industries –were confronted by the risk of homelessness for the first time in their lives.
‘These rental protections have been vital to helping tenants stay afloat during the COVID crisis,’ Ms Beveridge said. ‘Tenants Victoria has helped tenants to navigate these schemes so if you are still facing hardship you should take advantage of these schemes while you can.’
The Rent Relief Grants are available for up to $3000 to help you pay your rent. However, first you must reach a Rent Reduction agreement with your landlord or real estate agent, and register it with Consumer Affairs Victoria.
The Consumer Affairs Victoria scheme is a free service, and is part of the plan to assist tenants.
Here are easy steps to follow throughout the whole process, including sample letters on how seek a Rent Reduction agreement and examples of the forms you will need to complete.
Once you register your agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria, you can apply for the Rent Relief Grant. To be eligible you need to meet certain criteria.
Your eligibility is based on the rental hardship you are experiencing. This is determined by factors including whether your rent exceeds 30% of your income.
That means that not everyone will receive the full $3000. The grant is designed to reduce your rent to 30% of your income (before tax) where possible.
To be eligible for up to $3000 in rent relief you must show you are paying more than 30 per cent of your income in rent and all of the following:
- Your work hours/pay/turnover reduced by 20% or more due to COVID-19
- You have income less than $1,903.85 a week or $99,000 a year (before tax)
- You have less than $10,000 in cash and savings (excluding superannuation and fixed-term deposits)
Here are the steps to take to apply for the grant, including examples to help you calculate how much of the grant you should be eligible for.
Remember, time is running out to apply. However if you follow these steps and read our guides you will be equipped to apply in time.