The WA Government has announced a new package to support tenants, landlords and the construction industry in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tax relief grants for commercial landlords
The WA Government has set aside $100 million of the new package for land tax relief grants to be paid to commercial landlords.
To be eligible, commercial landlords must provide rent relief that equates to a minimum of three months’ rent and freeze outgoings to small businesses that have suffered at least a 30 per cent reduction in turnover due to COVID-19.
The package adds to the WA Government’s previously announced $1.7 billion stimulus and relief package for businesses and households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It complements the introduction of a six-month freeze on rent increases, the moratorium on evictions from March 30, 2020, and the $25 million small business rent relief package announced last month.
Grants equivalent to 25 per cent of the landlord’s land tax bill for 2019‑20 for the property in which an eligible tenant is provided relief will be paid to landlords.
The commercial rent relief grants will be administered through the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC).
Grants for residential tenants facing financial hardship
The WA Government has also committed $30 million for grants of up to $2,000 for residential tenants who have lost their job and facing financial hardship.
These one-off grants, will be paid direct to landlords, on behalf of tenants experiencing financial hardship, to provide the equivalent of four weeks’ rent, capped at $2,000.
This residential support is intended to provide an incentive for landlords to renegotiate rental agreements with tenants who have lost their job and are facing financial hardship.
The residential rent relief grants will be administered through the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), with the grants scheme available for six months from 29 March 2020. For more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit dmirs.wa.gov.au/covidrenting
To qualify for these commercial and residential grants, landlords must agree not to seek to recover this rent relief from tenants at the end of the period.
Support package for building and construction industry
The WA Government has also announced a $24.5 million in support to assist the building and construction industry to maintain a skilled workforce during the COVID-19 crisis, this includes a $2,000 payment to eligible employers to maintain existing apprentices and trainees.
For more information see the New $154.5 million relief package to support tenants, landlords and construction industry media statement.