Landlords and tenants in NSW could be set for financial relief under tweaks to the state government’s proposed legislation changes designed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The NSW government has introduced legislation to change about 40 state laws in a move to deal with the virus and its economic impacts.
The amendments would allow payroll tax exemptions for JobKeeper payments to stood-down workers, and change statutory leave laws to provide alternatives to workers standing down.
People that have or have been exposed to the virus would have to undergo testing or medical examination and security officers would be able to check the temperatures of people entering courts.
The registrar of births, deaths and marriages would also have to notify the health secretary of all deaths, to help identity virus clusters.
The NSW Legislative Council sat past midnight and into Wednesday to debate the proposals, and made a number of tweaks.
Labor’s upper house leader Adam Searle successfully moved an amendment that would see landlords suffering financial hardship receive up to $2500 per tenancy, which they would be required to pass on to tenants in rent reductions.
Landlords would be eligible if they can prove a tenant has lost 25 per cent of their income, has less than $5000 in savings and that 30 per cent of their income goes to rent.
The opposition’s other amendment ensures that the annual leave of workers stood down without pay continues to accrue.
Amendments put forward by the Greens are designed to protect tenants who are unable to pay council rates and charges, and stop the state from limiting council income.
Politicians are required to socially distance in the scaled-back NSW parliament, with just 23 MPs allowed in each of the two houses at any one time.
The upper house will resume later on Wednesday morning, with their tweaks to return to the lower house for debate later.