Not-for-profit training organisation, VERTO, has called for an extension to the NSW eviction moratorium following a report from Tenants Union of NSW which showed a 33 per cent lift in ‘no grounds’ termination of leases by landlords.

The report, Supporting Renters During the Pandemic, highlighted the huge stress renters have been put under during the COVID-19 pandemic. VERTO has seen first-hand the stress locals in Bathurst, Orange, Wagga Wagga, Albury and Goulburn regions have experienced, with an increase in the number of requests for rental support to its Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Service (TAAS) since March this year.

Some of the key statistics of the Supporting Renters During the Pandemic report include:

  • An 80 per cent increase in the number of renters looking for advice on rental termination;
  • 60 per cent year-on-year lift in calls for support in the April-June quarter alone;
  • A 33 per cent lift in the number of ‘no grounds’ termination of leases by landlords, most of which occurred when a renter asked for assistance in a rental reduction during the pandemic.

The report highlights the upcoming removal of the current eviction moratorium that the NSW Government put in place during the COVID-19 crisis and calls for a continuation of the moratorium, which is due to expire in mid-October 2020.

VERTO CEO, Ron Maxwell, agrees with calls for an extension and is concerned that without a continuation of the eviction moratorium some of the most vulnerable renters in the Bathurst, Orange, Wagga Wagga, Albury and Goulburn communities could face homelessness.

“COVID-19 has created unprecedented change in our everyday lives. The impact on employment in particular has created many challenges and for those most vulnerable in our communities, it can be one that has a catastrophic impact. When renters face such a financial burden, homelessness can become a major issue,” Mr Maxwell said.

“While some actions in certain circumstances by landlords have been disappointing to see, the NSW Government’s eviction moratorium has provided peace of mind for many renters. We call on the government to continue this support beyond October 2020 to provide some level of comfort for these vulnerable members of our community”.

If the moratorium ends, Mr Maxwell said the impact to communities across NSW would be significant.

“We support many through our TAAS program and will continue to do so. The increase in the numbers highlighted in the Tenants Union report are a concern and should encourage those in government to support an extension,” he said.

For further details on the Supporting Renters During the Pandemic report, please visit https://www.tenants.org.au/news/report-situation-nsw-renters-during-covid-19-demonstrates-struggle-ongoing-potentially-getting.