Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed that the current freeze on rental evictions, which applies to both commercial and residential tenants, will last until 31 December this year, unless there are “rare and specific circumstances.”

Price increases are also off the table until the end of this year, as the Andrews government seeks to continue its support for COVID-19 affected tenants.

Premier Andrews explained that the extensions were in line with the financial support currently on offer from the Federal Government. “Just as JobKeeper has been extended by the Commonwealth government, just as JobSeeker at that higher rate has been extended by the Commonwealth government,” Premier Andrews said, as he announced the “extension and the refinement of those important protections.”

“Both for families and individuals who are renting, but also businesses who’ve got commercial arrangements and who, through no fault of their own, have got turnover that is a fraction of what it was this time last year.”

The Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, explained that the government considered the rights and needs of both tenants and landlords before extending the support package.

“It’s about making sure that we strike the right balance and we provide support and assistance to landlords who do the right thing by their tenants,” Mr Pallas said.

Residential landlords can access grant funding and are also eligible for land tax relief – although some areas of funding are conditional upon providing a reduced rent for the tenant.

As at the date of publication, residential landlords who offer rent relief, or who are unable to find a tenant for their rental property, may be eligible for 25% off their 2020 land tax for that residential property. Landlords may also be able to defer payment of their land tax until March next year.

Meanwhile, commercial landowners that have total taxable landholdings below $1 million are not required to pay their 2020 land tax until 31 March 2021.

More information on support packages is available on the State Revenue Office’s website: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/coronavirus