Can I be evicted during coronavirus pandemic in Australia?

A step-by-step guide to using the coronavirus crisis to slash your rent by 50% - with some tenants already $400-a-month better off Finder.com.au expert says the pandemic crisis has created a 'tenant's market'  Airbnb ban, no international students, slow market putting pressure on rents  Average rent for a unit in Sydney was $510 last year, $420 in Melbourne Renters hunting for a place could expect discounts of up to $100 in Sydney Comes as tenants tell their stories of how they got a rent reduction 

By Daniel Piotrowski for Daily Mail Australia

Published: 05:45 BST, 9 April 2020 | Updated: 06:47 BST, 9 April 2020

Winner: Newly unemployed childcare worker Sarah Draeger, 26, negotiated a 50 per cent rent reduction for three months with her landlord using a simple email template

Winner: Newly unemployed childcare worker Sarah Draeger, 26, negotiated a 50 per cent rent reduction for three months with her landlord using a simple email template

Renters on the hunt for a new place can expect discounts of up to $100 per week as the market is flooded stock because of the coronavirus crisis.

Consumer researcher Graham Cooke, from Finder.com.au, said the pandemic is creating a 'tenant's market' in Australia's major cities of Sydney and Melbourne. 

Mr Cooke said the outlook is improving for lease-hunters, with rents expected to drop by up to 10 to 20 per cent. 

Fewer international students, a slow housing market and a ban on Airbnb rental properties in NSW is expected to place downward pressure on rents. 

He explained: 'There's been three drivers behind it - student accommodation, there's not a lot of students coming in from overseas.

'We're already seeing a lot of short term rental properties coming onto the long-term rental market after Airbnbs were declared illegal. 

'(And) because of the difficulty of selling a house right now, we're probably going to have a lot of people who were trying to sell postponing.

'That will lead to an increase in stock on the market, which will probably, in turn, push rents down'.  

Below, Mr Cooke and tenants who have won rent reductions provide tips on how much rent you should pay, how to ask your landlord for a rent reduction in tough times - and whether you can still be evicted for failing to pay during the pandemic.

How much rent should I be paying? 

If the market is flooded with stock as expected, Mr Cooke said: 'You would be looking at 10 or 20 per cent drops'. 

The latest CoreLogic RP Data survey said the median rent for an apartment in Sydney was $510 per week, and $420 per week in Melbourne. 

Mr Cooke said it's a 'tenants' market' at the moment as the rental market is flooded with supply. Above, signs outside an apartment block on Wednesday

Mr Cooke said it's a 'tenants' market' at the moment as the rental market is flooded with supply. Above, signs outside an apartment block on Wednesday

Under that scenario, lease hunters could soon expect a discount of about $50 to $100 off that price in Sydney and $43 to $86 in Melbourne. 

Mr Cooke said the rental market was already stagnant before the coronavirus led to shutdowns and job losses across vast swathes of the Australian economy. 

The CoreLogic survey said median rents across the country's capital cities were only up one per cent as of last December. 

The next set of figures could show steep falls. 

Can I get a discount on rent? How? 

Renters are encouraged to ask their landlords for a discount if they have been directly affected by the economic crisis. 

Finder.com.au insights manager Graham Cooke

Finder.com.au insights manager Graham Cooke

'The governments are encouraging landlords and tenants to figure it out,' Mr Cooke said. 

'Landlords are being encouraged to do what they can.' 

He suggested tenants email their landlord or tenancy manager so there is a paper trail.

Several renters have told how they have successfully secured reductions from their landlord. 

Unemployed childcare worker Sarah Draeger, 26, was able to negotiate a 50 per cent reduction for three months using a simple

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