A majority of renters are either having trouble with paying rent or feel they will experience issues in the coming months.
New research from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute found that 25 per cent of renters surveyed had struggled to meet rental payments.
A further 35 per cent said they were concerned they would be unable to meet future rental payments.
As well, only half of the tenants who asked for a rent reduction had their request fully accepted.
The research interviewed tenants and landlords across Australia. RMIT University lead report author Dr David Oswald said the results showed tenants were far more stressed during the pandemic.
"It was clear from our findings that without this government support, many tenants would be in a significantly worse position, including potentially homeless," he said.
But Dr Oswald said some landlords had also reported stress. He said they were concerned about their finances and the implications of a lack of rental income. The landlords who were most stressed were those who lived with a tenant.
As well, those who were on a career break or retired and relied on the rental income.
The report recommended that a protective negotiation framework should be implemented.
Dr Oswald said both tenants and landlords were unclear about how to approach negotiations around rent decreases. He said tenants were worried about retaliatory evictions
"At the moment there is no real guidance on what is acceptable and what is unacceptable in terms of how to negotiate or initiate these discussions," he said.
Dr Oswald said tenants were worried about retaliatory evictions and landlords expressed concerns about what information they could reasonably ask of tenants.
As well, the report recommended there should be clear government advice for real estate agents and greater information around when government support payments are set to be cut.
The report also found renters had faced stress beyond financial reasons as a result of their tenancies.
"Through the pandemic a lot of people saw their home as a place of safety... but for some people it wasn't a place of safety especially if they had four or five housemates [and] some of them were maybe doing the wrong things," Dr Oswald said.
"This could be going out and mixing with people and bringing back the virus so there was some unease there for some tenants who obviously weren't happy with this behaviour.
"Also with share houses that have four or five people that are just not designed for four or five home offices... and you have to negotiate who is going where and what is fair."