The Western Australian Government has extended the emergency period until 28 March 2021, meaning that the Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 continues to apply to all tenancies regardless of whether the tenant is financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or not. The decision to extend the emergency period in its current form, is short sighted and will create further problems for both landlords and tenants in 2021. Since it was announced on the 10 September, the REIWA Information Services team have received 50 per cent more calls, with landlords and tenants seeking advice on their current situation. While people might think the calls surround issues of tenants not paying rent, this is not the case. There are a significant amount of landlords who prior to the pandemic lived interstate or overseas, that have moved back to WA have been waiting patiently for the moratorium to end, to be able to move back into their own properties. Instead, they are now having to wait another six months before they are able to move into their homes and settle back into their lives in WA. Then there are those selling properties due to financial struggles. On many occasions, the homes are occupied by a tenant and when the house was sold, was done so under the condition that when the tenant vacated at the end of the initial emergency period the buyer would be able to move in. However, now the new owner is in limbo for an additional six months, with no place to go, in a time when the rental market has limited properties available. This decision shows that the government is totally out of touch with what is happening in the market, which is why REIWA is calling on the WA Government to ease the criteria so that tenants and landlords can access some much-needed relief. What can you do? As a landlord, you can have your voice heard by heading to our campaign page, downloading the letter template, filling it in with your details and sending it to your local MP, the Premier, Minister for Commerce and the Treasurer. We also want to hear from both landlords and tenants, If you are willing to share your story and potentially have it included within the campaign, please email email@example.com with the details. For more information about REIWA’s campaign and to have your say, visit ‘Join the campaign: A fair go for landlords during COVID-19’.