In the past month, Sarah* has seen her weekly income drop by around $800.
The Horsham woman in her 20s, has been temporarily let go from one casual job, and cannot work at her other job as its closure, prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, continues.
She now puts a much larger proportion of her weekly income into her $145 a week rental payments. As such, she is glad there is more assistance now available.
On Wednesday, the Victorian government announced $500 million in support for commercial and residential tenants and landlords.
This includes $80 million in for renters facing hardship due of coronavirus. To be eligible, renters will need to have registered their revised agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria or gone through mediation, have less than $5,000 in savings and still be paying at least 30 per cent of their income in rent.
The rest will be given in the form of land tax relief to landlords who provide concessions to tenants. In line with national guidelines, rent increases have been banned for six months, as have evictions for the non-payment of rent for commercial tenancies involving small and medium-sized businesses.
Sarah, who rents with a doctor and a teacher in the city, said her housemates weren't having any difficulty covering their payments.
"They have said to me if I'm stressed and waiting on payments, they will help me out personally," she said.
"I haven't thought too much about contacting our landlord yet, because it's overwhelming with the paper work side of things, and I'm not sure how long it will take for me to start getting a payment.
"Rent, day-to-day bills and living expenses are definitely my biggest concerns at the moment. Now I've got some weekend work, that will be able to pay my rent, because I'm on a casual rate plus penalties. Hopefully I can keep it.
Sarah said there was a month between the government's announcement and the changes to her employment situation.
"For a few weeks there it was pretty nerve wracking, thinking 'What are my options if I can't pay rent'," she said. "Then I heard the government had announced assistance for businesses but not housing. Now they have that is a relief."
Coller Rathgeber Property Group principal Tim Coller said the real estate agency had had a number of inquiries from tenants seeking to renegotiate their rent.
"All those have been referred directly to our landlords, and without exception they have been open to any proposals we have put to them... to ease that burden," he said.
"Landlords are being asked to shoulder a fair bit of this assistance to tenants, and in a lot of cases they are mum and dad investors relying on the rent they receive they income, or to service a debt at a bank."
Mr Coller said many Horsham landlords would not qualify for the land tax relief.
"They may only have one commercial rental property on which they don't pay land tax," he said. "They will be bearing the total cost of any variation themselves.
"What I would say to tenants is if you are experiencing hardship, don't put your head in the sand: Don't run away. Contact your property manager and they will give you some advice on where to seek assistance."
*Sarah's name has been changed for privacy reasons.