Emergency relief for residential and commercial tenants struggling with the rent during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue in South Australia for another six months.
The government will extend the relief provisions, which restrict rent increases and the ability of landlords to terminate agreements, until the end of March next year.
Legislation will be introduced in state parliament on Wednesday with Attorney-General Vickie Chapman describing the measures as necessary given the levels of coronavirus infections in other states.
“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,” she said.
However, the government will narrow the focus of the bill to ensure it helps only those tenants experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
At the same time, the government will also extend and increase a land tax relief scheme for landlords, providing them with a 50 per cent reduction on their tax liabilities for 2019/20.
The provision will also be extended until the end of April next year.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said 1500 landlords had already applied for relief under the scheme.
“By helping landlords, we support their tenants – and, in turn, ensure we sustain as many local jobs as possible throughout the greatest economic challenge of our time,” Mr Lucas said.
“Rent can be one of the biggest fixed costs for a small business or residential tenant and this scheme complements the work of many landlords who have been working with their tenants and financial institutions to find an effective way through this period.”