If you are at risk of homelessness, eviction, rent arrears or unable to meet rent increases with the end of WA’s COVID-19 rent moratorium, our caring hands are here to help.  

In today’s blog our Financial Counsellor Duncan Edgar shares his thoughts about the current situation and provides advice on how you can access services and supports. 

“The financial strain for many people right now is very real,” Duncan said. 

“There’s no doubt that the effects of COVID-19 are still being felt, long after the massive curve ball made its appearance.  

“With the end of the rent moratorium and JobKeeper programs, people need to know that there are options available to them. 

The WA Government is offering additional grants for tenants with rent arrears arising from last year’s impact of COVID-19, plus a grant to assist tenants who are impacted with rent increases as our housing market starts to boom again.  

Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme  

Rent relief grants can assist tenants to pay their rent if they are having difficulty paying.  Equally, rent relief grants can assist lessors to receive rent if their tenants are having difficulty paying. If you receive a rent relief grant, you are not required to pay the grant back to the State Government or to your lessor.

There are two types of rent relief grants currently being offered:  

Rent arrears assistance 

Rent arrears assistance can help you with rent debt. The tenant needs to benefit because of the grant and the landlord must offset rent arrears (unpaid or deferred) or any rent waived (or reduced) during the emergency period, with a tenancy agreement in place from 1 December 2020.  The arrears need to have arisen before December 2020 and there must be a 6-month lease in place for 6 months or longer past March 2021. 

Future rent support 

Future rent support can help you with a significant rent increase, which is greater than the normal market rate of five per cent a year. 

It is possible for applicants to be eligible for rent arrears assistance and future rent support at the same time. 

Applications must be made before 28 June 2021.  

“There is immediate help available and we want people to understand that it is important to reach out if they feel they need assistance. 

Pick up the phone, make an appointment, and explore the options available to you with trained experts who care about your situation and want to see it improve.  

For more information on this grant and your eligibility or to talk about your concerns for your financial or housing stability, contact Southcare’s Financial Counselling Service.