Treasury Secretary Grant Robertson. Image from file / Mark Mitchell
There are no immediate plans for rent or mortgage relief amid Level 4 isolation – unlike last year.
But the government is monitoring the situation, says Treasury Secretary Grant Robertson.
In 2020, ahead of a level 4 lock on March 25, the government announced a freeze on rent increases and a six-month “leave” for those in need.
Robertson said at this stage the government has not offered mortgage vacations or a repeat of the business financing guarantee scheme that ended in June.
“We will continue to monitor the situation, talk to banks and act accordingly.”
He added that people should first talk to their banks.
Robertson said the Internal Revenue Commissioner has discretion to defer provisional tax for businesses.
“People must fit [Inland Revenue] primarily to discuss their situation. “
Roger Beaumont, executive director of the Bankers’ Association of New Zealand, confirmed in a statement that there are currently no plans to return the loan deferral scheme.
“This may change depending on how the current situation develops. We will continue to monitor this closely.
“When we introduced the first lockdown loan deferral scheme, there was much more uncertainty about how Covid would affect the economy. So far we have gone better than expected, ”he said.
“Anyone experiencing financial difficulties due to the current restriction should contact their bank to discuss how they can help. Banks can offer a range of options to clients in difficulty, depending on their circumstances. The sooner you contact your bank, the better they will be in position. to help.”
People could check their bank’s website to find the best way to get in touch.
No decision to freeze rent
Undersecretary for Housing Poto Williams’ spokeswoman also said Sunday that the decision to freeze rent has not yet been made.
Last year, the rent freeze was set to blocking level 4by prohibiting landlords from raising their rent for six months.
Rentals could not be terminated by the landlord during isolation, except in a few circumstances, and tenants who filed a notice were allowed to stay.
While no rent freeze is currently being proposed for insulation, the law changed last August, so the rent can usually only be increased once a year – compared to six months earlier.
However, if the 12-month mark continues during the current quarantine, the rent could still be increased.
Current government A Guide for Renters and Homeowners with Readiness Level 4 reads: “Wherever possible, everyone should remain at their current place of residence. Tenants can only move out of their home if required by a court order or if they need to use a temporary or emergency home. ”
But the guide, which was updated on Aug. 19 after the start of the isolation, also says that homeowners can end their rent as usual.
“From March 26 to June 25, 2020, there were restrictions on the termination of the lease. These restrictions no longer apply, ”the message says.
The February change to the law also did this it is more difficult for landlords to evict tenants… The notice period has been extended to 90 days, or 63 days if the owner or family member needs to reside at the property.
The Herald is demanding further clarification from the Department of Housing and Urban Development as to whether this means tenants may be evicted during isolation.
Renters United spokesman Geordie Rogers said the organization wanted to freeze rent increases and evictions, but also wanted the government to consider rent controls.
Organization this year called for rent control, including limiting the increase in rent to the level of inflation, if a significant modernization of the property has not been carried out.
According to Rogers, subsidies were given to small businesses to help people find jobs, so “I find it funny that we don’t keep people in our homes with the same level of care and compassion.”
He also wished that there were no evictions during the isolation, although he did not know about anything that had happened in the last week.
“I don’t think it is safe for anyone to be evicted during isolation and forced to move their bubble or get out of it. And I’m sure the government will agree that we want these bubbles to be contained. ”