The Coronavirus has affected all Australians, some more financially than others. The unemployment rate in Australia is expected to climb to 10 per cent by the end of June with close to an estimated two million Australians out of work. For landlords paying a mortgage and tenants paying rent, that can be a difficult situation to be in. Tenants and landlords are encouraged to communicate and negotiate their rental agreements to help support each other through this difficult time. 

Why negotiation and communication can help 

If you’re a tenant experiencing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic, leaving your home isn’t the only solution available to you. Although the Coronavirus has already driven many tenants from their pricey suburbs, negotiating a small rent decrease, deferral, or waiver can be the difference between staying and going. While there’s also a moratorium on evictions for tenants who cannot pay their rent due to the Coronavirus, it doesn’t mean that you can’t negotiate a decrease in rent as well, one that meets a compromise between both the landlord and the tenant. 

Communication is key to making sure both parties are supported through a negotiation of the rental agreement. Fair Trading requires landlords and tenants to approach negotiations with an open mind and an empathetic ear to ensure a workable outcome.

Decrease rents to reflect the market

As a landlord paying a mortgage, the current government and banking initiatives might not be enough to ease the financial burden caused by the Coronavirus. They might also fall short of helping you keep tenants in your property. However, decreasing rent prices to reflect the decrease that has taken place across the market is likely to help your tenants stay in the home. At the moment, the supply in rental properties far outweighs the demand from tenants, pulling rent prices down.

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected both tenants and landlords, so it’s important to work together to achieve an outcome that helps both parties. For more information and guidance on negotiating rent payments, visit the Fair Trading website.