COVID-19 and renting – what tenants need to know.

Tenants Queensland have developed a fact sheet for tenants and residents whose tenancies are affected by COVID-19. It deals with some of the common issues arising.

If you need further advice, you can contact Tenants Queensland for free tenancy advice service on 1300 744 263

You can access a copy of the Tenants Queensland fact sheet (entries, repairs, rent arrears) by clicking here

If you are in a sharehouse you can access a copy of the Sharehouse fact sheet by clicking here

If you are an international student you can access a copy of the International Student fact sheet by clicking here

You don’t have to draw down on your superannuation at the request of your lessor or agent. Read what ASIC wrote to the real estate industry here 

Important info & other services


We know from yesterday’s announcement that changes to tenancy laws will be made in the next couple of weeks. We’ve been doing a bit of work behind the scenes to work out how we can protect renters from negative impacts of COVID-19. As a community, we’re all going to have to work together, with the impacts shared amongst all the players, renters and landlords alike.  

The issue prominent in the media has been protecting all renters (including residents of boarding housing and caravan parks) from forced evictions and homelessness. This has to be a key focus during what is a public health crisis, and needs to go beyond evictions due to economic hardship. However, we’ve also been lobbying governments to:

  • ensure that rents are reduced not just deferred, renters shouldn’t end up with crippling debts when we reach recovery. That would just lead to evictions and homelessness down the track. 
  • develop a reduced rent model which is affordable and used to determine unresolved rent reduction disputes
  • protect everyone from avoidable entries, and set out reciprocal questions when an entry can’t be avoided e.g. for repairs, to keep everyone safe and healthy
  • extend entry time frames from 24 hours’ notice to 48 hours so that any arising issue can be managed prior.
  • limit the amount of personal information a renter can be asked when seeking a rent reduction (we’ve seen some very intrusive forms!)

We agree there needs to be limited exceptions to the eviction moratorium, around issues of damage and injury, while still ensuring that no one is evicted into homelessness.

It’s a shame that the Prime Minister didn’t see fit to set out the rules for residential rent reductions like he did for commercial tenancies. We think costs need to be pushed downwards for both tenants and landlords. the more that landlords’ overheads are reduced, the better position they’re in to reduce rents. Those things are in the control of the federal government. 

We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything more from the state government on changes to tenancy laws. 


Anxiety about COVID-19 is rising throughout our community and renters are feeling increasingly vulnerable to its impacts. We’re all worried about our loved ones, our society, our health, safety and immediate security.

To protect our communities during the COVID-19 crisis, Tenants Queensland has been working with a coalition of around 100 other organisations. Together we’ve been pushing for a ban (moratorium) on evictions, and over the last two weeks, thousands of Queenslanders sent emails to MPs and signed petitions. We then delivered our #NoEvictionsCovid19 petition to the Prime Minister with more than 10,000 signatures

Last weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced ‘a six-month moratorium on evictions’.

In the evening of April 1 Queensland’s Deputy Premier said that (see at 16.25):

  • As per the Prime Minister’s announcement every jurisdiction in Australia will prevent evictions of people who cannot make rent because they’ve lost their job due to Corona Virus or the impacts either directly or indirectly of Corona Virus.
  • Prevention of these evictions in Queensland will be backdated to the day the PM announced this at National Cabinet, March 29.
  • A grants system has been established for people in the private rental market who lost their job, who won’t get Centrelink support until at least April 27 and who can’t make rent. The Qld government will provide up to $500 per week for four weeks (and paid to the landlord) to help you with your rent payment while waiting for income support.  Information can be found here  You can call 1800 497161 for further information.
  • The Qld government understands that the prohibition on eviction is for tenants who genuinely lost their jobs as a result of Corona Virus. For the things that we ordinarily see tenancies ended for – if tenants significantly damage the property or if the landlord needs to move in because of financial distress – these will still occur. This is not a blanket prohibition. There is a balanced, common sense approach here.

Tenants Queensland is currently talking to the State government to help shape these temporary reforms and will update you as soon as we know anything further. We think the reforms need to go further. [click to continue…]