A Western Australian group has rebuked the state’s decision to extend the eviction moratorium to March 2021, calling for the government to instead follow in the footsteps of Queensland.
The president of Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), Damian Collins, has commented on the way the Queensland government has handled COVID-19 emergency tenancy legislation and worked to end the eviction moratorium in the state by the end of September 2020.
He said, “The Queensland government listened to all stakeholders, formed an advisory group and ultimately introduced fair legislation that provided protection to those in genuine hardship as a result of COVID-19.”
According to Mr Collins, the further easing is a sign that a “balanced” approach worked and the state’s economy and rental market has made it through the worst of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, the WA government extended its eviction moratorium for a further six months – to 28 March 2021.
It’s led the REIWA to state that the Western Australian government “should learn from the success” of Queensland – by implementing an amendment to the Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020, so that it only applies to those who are suffering ongoing hardship.
Mr Collins stated that WA’s economy “is in a better position” than Queensland’s. However, “their government has assessed the market and taken a more balanced approach in managing the expectations of landlords and tenants, which includes ending the ban on terminating tenancies on 30 September 2020”.
The REIWA said it had been “inundated” with calls from landlords and tenants who have been negatively impacted by the decision to extend the moratorium.
“It is clear from the sheer number of calls to REIQA’s Information Service and the recent media attention that unfortunately there is a significant number of Western Australians unnecessarily disadvantaged as a result of the blanket decision to extend the legislation,” Mr Collins concluded.