The Marshall Government will continue support for residential and commercial tenants struggling with the impacts of the coronavirus for another six months, under legislation to be introduced to State Parliament tomorrow.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said that developments interstate as well as the situation in South Australia meant an extension to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act is necessary.
“The legislation is another component of the State Government’s strong plan to deal with both the health and economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.
“Some provisions were set to expire by the end of September, when it’s clear the impacts of the coronavirus are still being felt by families, businesses and the broader community.
“This bill will extend provisions until 28 March 2021, or 28 days after the COVID-19 Emergency Direction expires –whichever comes first.
”Provisions to continue under the proposed bill include:
•Those involving commercial leases;
•Restrictions on rent increases, as well as breaches and terminations of tenancy agreements involving financial hardship due to the coronavirus for residential tenancies, residential parks and supported residential facilities;
•The use of ‘virtual’ visits by the Community Visitor;
•Alternative methods of signing and witnessing documents.
“We have ended the provisions covering water and sewerage charges for sporting clubs, given the establishment of a grants scheme to support those clubs,” said Attorney-General Chapman.
“Also, to ensure that measures aimed at protecting residential tenants are not exploited, we have narrowed the focus of the Act so that the prohibition on rental increases only applies if the tenant is experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These and other provisions that remain in effect will help ensure support for business and those vulnerable members of our community.