Could removal of eviction prevention rules spike homelessness rates?

26 March 2021

Written by: Rei Fortes

The rules put in place at the beginning of the pandemic will end this Sunday.

Renters in Melbourne are worried about increased evictions, after the rental relief and JobKeeper payments were announced to end this Sunday.

The Victorian Government’s temporary rental laws currently in place due to COVID-19 will end on 28 March 2021. New rentals rules will be implemented on the following day which are promised to be fairer for tenants and rental providers.

Consumer Affairs Victoria acknowledged the introduction of new rental laws and included a summary of the changes on their website. One of the new changes covers the maximum bond amount rental providers can request from their tenants.

Renters like Jolene Choo are worried about this situation as it gives rental providers a chance to issue eviction notices again. She told SBS that many people are still struggling to find a job and cover their living expenses.

“The only difference with us is that we are a only dollar away from being homeless, or having to choose between having a roof over our head or having food on our table,” Choo said.

The second extension of the JobKeeper payment scheme is also set to end on Sunday. The Australian Taxation Office stated that enrolments must be submitted by 31 March in order to claim payments.

Tenants Victoria CEO Jennifer Beveridge said that renters are still eligible to apply for a $3000 dollar rental belief before 28 March.

Renters are eligible for this relief fund if the rent is more than 30 percent of their income.

The Renters & Housing Union Victoria created a Facebook event to a rally this Sunday in front of Parliament advocating to extend rental protections and prevent rental evictions.

The union also tweeted about the event to fight against evictions.

Photo: Red and blue love neon signage photo by Erik Mclean available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.