A halt on evictions, a break on utility bills, and the ability for renters to pay their landlords over time are among suggestions for leaders to consider as they look at how to ease financial pressure on Australians hit by the coronavirus crisis.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will discuss model rules for landlords and tenants with state and territory leaders as part of a national cabinet teleconference on Tuesday evening.
Western Australia and NSW have led the work on the legislation, which will ensure relief and protection is available to families and businesses who fall into hardship over the next six months.
Officials have examined the trigger for relief and how tenants would be able to keep a roof over their heads.
An announcement is expected on Wednesday morning.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said landlords needed to show some common sense during the pandemic.
"They're going to lose their tenants if they insist on people paying money that they simply don't have," he told reporters in Canberra.
His frontbench colleagues have a wishlist of measures for the leaders to consider.
They want to see a moratorium on evictions like the three-month stay now in place in the UK, extended and penalty-free periods to pay utility bills, and flexibility to allow rents to be paid over time.
"This could be a smart way to transfer the mortgage flexibility given to landlords by banks, to the tenants who live in these dwellings," frontbenchers Jason Clare, Bill Shorten and Linda Burney said in a statement.
The banking sector has agreed to a six-month pause on repayments for home loan and small business customers struggling with money amid the coronavirus crisis.
One retail landlord is leading the way in providing shopkeepers with a rent holiday.
Queensland's South Bank Corporation will provide financial relief to its retailers to help support jobs and precinct businesses during the pandemic.
The measures include foregoing rent and outgoings from April 1 to September 30 and refunding rents that had already been paid to the corporation in March.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the government was working with the banking sector and landlords.
"We're going to get through this so much better if everybody is prepared to play ball on this," she told reporters in Canberra.
"There's not going to be an Australian that's not going to be touched by this coronavirus."
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has estimated two million Australians may have to carry the burden of $9516 each on average of unpaid rent over a six-month period.
With the average property investor earning less than $80,000 a year, this represents more than 30 per cent of their annual take-home pay over six months.
These investors may have no other option but to default on their loans.
The Property Council said commercial property owners and managers were already in talks with affected tenants to help them continue through the crisis.
Australian Associated Press