Landlords who support tenants in financial distress because of coronavirus will be offered land tax relief.
The national cabinet – comprising the prime minister and premiers – is meeting on Tuesday to finalise a rental code of conduct to be legislated across all states and territories.
Political leaders largely agree with the strategy, but industry figures have proved much harder to convince.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said there were a range of competing interests at play.
“Depending on whether you are the landlord or the tenant, your interests are obviously not necessarily aligned,” he told Sky News.
“We would say they should be in this context, and there should be scope for landlords and tenants to work through these issues with each other constructively, given the circumstances.
“That’s sometimes easier said than done.”
Senator Cormann said the code of conduct would include scope for landlords who “do the right thing” during the COVID-19 crisis to receive land tax relief or deferral.
“We are trying to do our bit, providing the right incentives along the way,” the minister said.
“But we do also expect that landlords will do the right thing in relation to those tenants who are in financial distress.”
The prime minister has already announced a six-month moratorium on evictions for people in financial distress and hardship.
The tenants’ union has argued governments need to step in to facilitate rent relief.