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Local landlords affected by the lockdown of Greater Sydney can now apply to have their reduced rents converted into tax relief.
The NSW government is finally delivering on its promise to offer land tax relief for landlords and tenants affected by the current lockdown.
First announced back in July, NSW minister for finance and small business Damien Tudehope said that applications for the scheme are now open.
Under the scheme, eligible NSW landowners can receive a reduction of up to 100 per cent of their land tax liability for 2021.
Landlords who agree to reduce the rent paid by COVID-19-affected tenants can receive a reduction in their payable land tax for the 2021-2022 financial year equal to that reduction. Alternatively, they can
Alternatively, they can opt for a one-off $1,500 per tenant support payment designed to mitigate the short-term cash flow issues presented by Greater Sydney’s ongoing lockdown.
Mr Tudehope said the government has “heard from landowners that they would like to help their tenants, but they also have bills to pay”.
“Providing financial relief will enable them to work with their tenants to offer rent reductions and to alleviate some of the cost-burden during restrictions.”
While residential tenants only need to have lost 25 per cent or more of their household income due to the lockdown, the rules are slightly different for commercial landlords.
Commercial landlords are only eligible for the land tax relief, not the $1,500 payment.
For them to qualify, they must be leasing to a commercial tenant with an annual turnover of less than $50 million. That commercial tenant must also meet the eligibility requirements of either the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant, JobSaver or COVID-19 Micro-business grant schemes.
Minister for better regulation and innovation Kevin Anderson said, “The NSW government is committed to supporting tenants and landlords as they get back on their feet, giving people one less thing to worry about.”
“This $1,500 payment means landlords will be less likely to face missing mortgage repayments. Extra protections for residential tenants means they won’t have to worry about being evicted at this time due to circumstances outside of their control,” he said.
The NSW government’s landlord relief scheme is based on a similar land tax relief program that ran from May 2020 through to May 2021.
Mr Tudehope said that last year’s scheme saw more than $186 million in relief provided to over 17,200 applicants.
Like that scheme, Mr Tudehope indicated that “this land tax relief program is demand driven; there is no limit to the number of landowners that can receive support from the government”.
However, both residential and commercial landlords who take advantage of the scheme cannot require their tenants to repay the reduced amount of rent they claim through the rebates.
Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.