• Relief package needed for property owners and tenants to protect their homes during COVID-19


    REIWA is calling on the State and Federal Government to urgently introduce a relief package to ensure all West Australians have a roof over their head during the coronavirus outbreak.

    To protect the homes and livelihood of West Australians REIWA is calling for:

    1. Rent assistance to those who lose their jobs for up to six months.
    2. 75 per cent reduction in stamp duty to support small business and sellers to keep transactions flowing.
    3. Landlord Insurers to change policies to help landlords support tenants by covering loss of rent or rent reductions.

    REIWA President Damian Collins said while we welcome the announcement made earlier today by the Australian Banking Association, outlining options for businesses to delay repayments, more needs to be done to protect people’s homes and jobs. 

    “The industry and government need to work together to ensure housing security for all participants during this debilitating time," Mr Collins said.

    “We need to see emergency residential rent relief for tenants who lose their jobs as a result of coronavirus to allow them to keep paying rent for the next six months. We also need the insurers and the banks to offer relief to landlords, so they are not left facing financial hardship because of rent reductions.

    “Typically, an owner can only make a claim to their insurers for loss of rent if they have taken steps to terminate the tenancy. Owners who do not wish to evict tenants will be left unable to claim those losses. The insurers’ business as usual approach doesn’t cut it in these extraordinary circumstances.

    “It’s your mum and dad investors and their tenants that will feel the brunt if they can no longer afford to pay their mortgages. Most landlords are already willing to help tenants who find themselves in financial stress because of coronavirus, but safeguards are needed to ensure they themselves don’t fall into hardship as a result.”

    We are also urging the government to introduce a 75 per cent stamp duty reduction for six months on all properties to encourage transactions to help those who need to sell and keep small business alive.

    “A short-term stamp duty concession or rebate of 75 per cent will make buying property much more attractive safeguarding thousands of jobs including, mortgage brokers, removalists, settlement agents and tradespeople. There is a strong risk that transactions may drop significantly which will put thousands of people out of work. A short-term relief package will encourage people to continue buying and selling and keep small business going. In addition, for those people who will need to sell their homes, they will need a buyer at the other end. Without this short-term incentive there may not be many buyers in the market, which could be a double blow to those who need to sell," Mr Collins said.

    “The industry and government need to offer emergency relief so that tenants and owners are not left high and dry as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

    “REIWA looks forward to working with the state and federal governments to ensure everyone has a place to call home during these unprecedented times.”

    For more information on our advocacy efforts, visit our advocacy page.