REIWA welcomes the McGowan Government’s announcement for much-needed rent assistance to help property owners, who have essentially been left to burden the costs of those struggling to make their rent payments due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). REIWA President Damian Collins said last week legislation was passed through parliament which protected the rights of tenants, but the financial burden has been moved onto owners. “Overall REIWA is grateful that the government has listened to our request for rental assistance as without safeguards in place to also protect property owners, both tenants and owners may have struggled to recover,” Mr Collins said. “The residential rent assistance payments of four weeks rent up to $2,000, which will be paid directly to the property owner, will provide some relief to owners who are facing financial pressure due to the tenant’s inability to pay rent at this time. “While not all tenants and property owners will benefit, at least this relief will go some way to reducing the financial burden in the property market.” REIWA also welcomes the $100 million land tax relief grants available for commercial owners who waive rent for a period of time for small business tenants impacted by COVID-19. “The residential legislation is now in place and the assistance is clear, so now it is time for us to make sure everyone has a roof over their head during the remainder of the COVID-19 outbreak,” Mr Collins said. For more information on REIWA's advocacy efforts during the coronavirus outbreak, visit our advocacy page.