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What to do if you're unable to pay rent

Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, many renters have been unable to pay their rent on time. The COVID-19 virus outbreak has had significant impacts on every sector, and as a result, many individuals who were working in casual jobs no longer have an income.


If a tenant is overdue on rent, then they are considered to be in rent arrears and have breached their tenancy agreement. Under the law, the landlord is allowed to give the tenant a non-payment termination notice after rent has been unpaid for 14 days or more. The termination notice must be in writing, signed by the landlord or agent, and set out the address of the premises, the ground for the notice (non-payment) and the date that the landlord wants the tenant to vacate the premises. The landlord must give at least 14 days of notice for eviction.


If you cannot afford to pay your rent due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the best course of action is to speak to your landlord as soon as possible. Your landlord may be empathetic and understanding of the situation, and you may be able to negotiate a lower rent or delay the payment. The landlord does not necessarily have to agree to any terms, and may still give you a termination notice, but in these difficult times it is better to let them know as soon as possible and see if an arrangement can be made.

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