Treasury Secretary Grant Robertson. File Photo / Mark Mitchell
There are no immediate plans for rental or mortgage relief amid the Level 4 lockdown – unlike last year.
But the government is watching the situation, says Treasury Secretary Grant Robertson.
In 2020, ahead of the Level 4 lockdown on Jan.
Robertson said the government is not proposing a mortgage vacation or a rerun of the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme, which expired in June, at this point.
“We will continue to monitor the situation, speak to banks and act accordingly.”
He added that people should speak to their banks in the first place.
Robertson said it was up to the Inland Revenue Commissioner to defer provisional taxes for businesses.
“People should get closer [Inland Revenue] in the first instance to discuss their situation. “
Roger Beaumont, chairman of the New Zealand Bankers Association, confirmed in a statement that there are currently no plans to roll back a loan repayment deferral program.
“That can change depending on how the current situation develops. We will continue to monitor this closely.
“When we launched the loan deferral program in the first lockdown, there was a lot more uncertainty about how Covid would affect the economy. So far we have come through better than expected, ”he said.
“Anyone experiencing financial difficulties due to the current lockdown should contact their bank to discuss how they can help. Banks can offer a number of options to their clients in need, depending on their circumstances. The sooner you contact your bank, the better positioned they are. “Help.”
People could search their bank’s website for the best contact method.
No decision about rent stop
A spokeswoman for deputy housing minister Poto Williams also said on Sunday that no decision had yet been made about rent stops.
Last year was a rental freeze set up prior to level 4 blocking, prohibits landlords from raising apartment rents for six months.
Except in a few cases, the landlord was unable to terminate tenancies during the lockdown, and tenants who had given notice were allowed to stay.
While no rental freeze is currently proposed, the law was changed to do so last August As a rule, rent could only be increased once a year – compared to six months earlier.
However, if the 12-month mark is exceeded during the current lockdown, the rent can still be increased.
Current government Instructions for tenants and landlords in alert level 4 says: “Everyone has to stay at their current place of residence if possible. Tenants can only move if this is required by court order or if they have to use temporary or emergency accommodation.”
However, the instructions, which were updated on August 19 after the lockdown began, also states that landlords can terminate tenancies as usual.
“From March 26th to June 25th, 2020 there were restrictions on rent cancellations. These restrictions no longer apply, ”it said.
A change in the law in February also made it It is more difficult for landlords to terminate tenants. The notice period has been increased to 90 days, or 63 days if the owner or a family member has to live in the property.
The Herald is asking the Department of Housing and Urban Development for further clarification on whether this means renters can be evicted during the lockdown.
Renters United spokesman Geordie Rogers said the organization wants a freeze on rent increases and evictions – but also that the government is considering rent controls.
The organization has this year request rental controls, including limiting rent increases to the rate of inflation unless a property has been appreciably upgraded.
Small business subsidies were given to keep employees, Rogers said – so “it’s ridiculous to me that we don’t keep people in their homes with the same care and compassion.”
He also didn’t want to see any evictions during the lockdown – although he hadn’t known anything in the past week.
“I don’t think it’s safe for anyone to be evicted and move or remove their bladder during lockdown. And I’m sure the government would agree that we want to see these bubbles contained. “