The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (The REIQ) recently met with the Queensland Government regarding the proposed landlord and tenant protections during the COVID-19 pandemic. This response follows the Everyone Matters in Real Estate campaign. Rental property coronavirus relief is an issue evolving daily. So, Orbit Property will keep you fully informed.
Initially, when the proposal was revealed to the public, it was thought not to take reasonable consideration of the financial position landlords would also be in. This is because many of these landlords are families or retiring couples and are also impacted by COVID-19.
While there will still be a 6-month ban on evictions, greater clarity has been provided in several areas. Greater clarity has now been provided on demonstrating financial hardship and negotiating rent payments and unpaid rent.
The amendments shared by The REIQ are as follows:
Rent payments and unpaid rent:
Property owners and tenants can now agree on the terms of reduced rent and deferred repayment requirements.
Financial hardship requirements:
The combined income of tenant/s must have reduced by more than 25% as a direct result of COVID-19 or where the rent amount exceeds 30% of income/s and tenant/s cannot afford to pay the rent.
Substantiation of financial hardship:
Tenants must provide the same level of proof of income as is required at the start of the tenancy to seek a rent reduction.
The Government will provide clear guidance to ensure access for essential repairs and maintenance, the sale of a property and virtual inspections.
To qualify for the Government’s break lease provisions, tenant/s must be in severe financial hardship which is defined as a 75% reduction in combined tenant/s income and have less than $5,000 in savings.
Extension of a tenancy:
A fixed term tenancy will be automatically extended to 30 September 2020 unless agreed otherwise.
The Rental Tenancies Authority (RTA) also has launched a new COVID-19 Residential Rental Hub . This provides access to the relevant information for landlords, property managers, and tenants.
Furthermore, the RTA encouraged tenants to speak with their landlords and property managers and keep them informed of their situation, and the changes needed to their rent arrangements.
Rental property coronavirus relief is an issue evolving daily. Here at Orbit Property, we’re here for you, our clients and tenants across Brisbane. Our expert property management team is here to help with your enquiries and ensuring all obligations are being met.