Advice is general in nature, consult a legal practitioner for your specific circumstances.

Rent relief grant

Grants of up to $3000 are available to help you pay your rent but even if you are eligible, you don’t automatically get the full amount. It depends on your income and rent. But first work out if you fit the guidelines. We also have some examples to help you calculate how much of the grant you should be eligible for.

Rent relief grant

The Victorian Government’s rent relief grant provides up to $3,000 to eligible tenants who are experiencing rental hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible residential tenants are able to access up to $3,000.

The grant was initially $2,000. Previous recipients may be eligible for a further $1,000. They do not need to re-apply as the Department of Health and Human Services will calculate whether they are eligible.

Apply for a rent relief grant
Information on the rent relief grant in other languages

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a rent relief grant you must have all of these in place:

  1. Have registered a reduced rent agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria
    You are not eligible for a grant if the landlord only defers your rent and you must catch up the arrears.
  2. Have had your work hours/pay/turnover reduced by 20% or more due to COVID-19
    This must have happened on or after March 11, 2020, and you must have been at least 16 years old.
  3. Have income less than $1,903.85 per week or $99,000 per year (before tax)
    The only income excluded is the one-off Economic Support payment of $750 and early access to superannuation under COVID-19 arrangements. All other income is included, for example: wages/JobKeeper, JobSeeker and other Centrelink benefits, payments and allowances, income from assets/investments and interest on savings.
  4. Pay more than 30% of your income (before tax) in rent
    For this calculation you must use the reduced rent in your agreement registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria.
  5. Have less than $10,000 in cash and savings (excluding superannuation and fixed-term deposits)

Note: Anyone can apply for the rent relief grant, even if you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

How do I access the grant?

To access the grant you first need to register your reduced rent agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria. Follow the steps of the rent reduction process.

Once your agreement is registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria, you can apply for the grant. here:
DHHS COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant

Apply for a rent relief grant

If you are assessed as eligible, the grant will be paid directly to the landlord or agent.

How much is paid?

The maximum grant is $3,000, but not everyone will receive the full amount. The grant is designed to reduce your rent to 30% of your income (before tax) where possible.

Example 1 – part grant payable

Sally had a weekly income of $1000, which was reduced to $750 because of COVID-19. Her rent was $320 a week, but her landlord agreed to reduce it to $270.

The government expects Sally to pay up to 30% of her income towards rent: 30% of the $750 she earns per week is $225. However, her rent is $45 more than that ($270). She is therefore eligible for a grant of $45 x 39 weeks (the current length of the grant period), which equals $1755. This amount will be paid to Sally’s landlord.

Example 2 – full grant payable

Like Sally, Alex had his income reduced from $1,000 a week to $750 due to COVID-19. His rent was $380 a week, and his landlord agreed to reduce it to $320.

Again, the government expects Alex to pay up to 30% of his income towards rent: 30% of the $750 he is earning per week is $225. However, his rent is $320, $95 more; $95 x 39 weeks equals $3705, which is more than the $3000 limit. Alex is therefore eligible for the maximum grant of $3000, which will be paid directly to the landlord.

 

What if I have a partner or live in a share-house?

Singles: If you rent with others, each single person can receive one grant up to $3000. You may be eligible for a grant even if your housemates aren’t experiencing financial hardship. Check the eligibility (above) to make sure all five points are applicable to you.

Couples: Couples can receive one grant of $3,000, not one grant each. Check the eligibility (above) to make sure all five points are applicable to you. You can still apply for a grant even if only one of you has had a reduction in work/pay/turnover due to COVID-19, and/or only one of you has their name on the lease or the reduced rent agreement registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Resources

Check your eligibility for the rent relief grant

If you are unable to apply online, call the Department of Health on 1800 950 444 between 9am and 12pm Monday to Friday to ask for an application form to be sent to you.

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