Mr Quigley said the decision to extend the moratoriums would help businesses and residential tenants still struggling.

“While it’s pleasing to see many businesses recovering economically, there are still others in COVID financial hardship,” he said.

“This targeted application of the code acknowledges the resilience of many WA businesses while continuing to assist those that need the protection.

“For residential tenancies, low vacancy rates for rental properties have, and will continue to force rents to rise, and this together with the current unemployment rate, as well as changes to JobKeeper, means families may find themselves in financial hardship.

“Those who have been able to return to work are only just starting to recover. To add difficulties in finding rental accommodation or not being able to afford rent to their worries would be an awful proposition.”

REIWA president Damian Collins said the decision to extend the emergency period made no economic sense and would lead to higher rents and less rental properties when the support eventually came to an end.


“It appears that the government has used the pandemic as an opportunity to introduce rent control and meddle in the free market,” he said.

“We already have a shortage of rental stock and reducing supply further by dissuading landlords will ultimately mean tenants will find it even harder to get a property”

Mr Collins said a better option would have been for the state to use the $30 million in rental support to help those most seriously impacted by COVID-19.

Property Council WA executive director Sandra Brewer said she was disappointed in the decision to extend commercial tenancy supports given the state had largely returned to normal.

“Continuing the code has the potential to threaten the viability of many small and mid-sized property businesses,” she said.

“It will also hurt the income of big property owners, resulting in reduced returns for every West Australian with superannuation.

“We would like to see the WA Government provide genuine land tax relief to support property owners who have generously supported their tenants.”

Under the residential tenancy extensions, the WA government will open a new hotline offering assistance to landlords pandemic-related tenancy issues.

Hamish Hastie is WAtoday’s business reporter.


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