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COVID-19: Landlords can ask tenants for evidence of financial hardship

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The privacy commissioner has released a clarification confirming that landlords can ask their tenants for proof of financial hardship before discussing payment plans or rent reductions.

These are unprecedented times. None of us has been through anything remotely similar, and we just don't know how long this will last. But we're doing the best we can, most of us still working (remotely), paying our bills and getting paid. But there are some among us that are struggling.

Some tenants are approaching landlords asking about possible rent reductions, rent holidays and payment plans to carry them through the next few weeks. So we just wanted to confirm that the landlords are under no obligation to waive or reduce rent. But if you choose to help your tenants and provide them with some form of rent relief, you're entitled to ask for proof of hardship.

This evidence of hardship can be in the form of some communication from an employer discussing the reduction of hours, income or loss of a job.

Although we'd like to think that most people wouldn't take advantage of the situation especially in the times of crisis, it's good to know that you can ask for some evidence when making a judgement call.

What the community has to say
  • PC

    nice article

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