Communication to owners - 27 April 2020 - purerealestategroup

Communication to owners – 27 April 2020

Thank you for your continued patience during these challenging times.

Government Update
On Friday 24 April, The Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni published the Residential Tenancies Practice Guide, following the passing of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act in Parliament that week, which allows Government to enact emergency COVID-19 regulations.

There is range of measures detailed in the Guide which are outlined below:

  • Tenants who are suffering or have suffered excessive hardship because of COVID-19 who cannot meet their rent commitments cannot be evicted or listed in a tenancy database for rent arrears.
  • Fixed term agreements due to expire during the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended to 30 September 2020 unless the tenant requests a shorter term.
  • Require property owners to only end COVID-19 impacted tenancies with approved reasons and required notice periods.
  • Provide new approved reasons to allow property owners and tenants to end their tenancy agreement if they need to during the COVID-19 emergency period, including if they are experiencing domestic and family violence with protections in place to limit their liability for end of lease costs.
  • Capping break lease fees for eligible tenants if their income has reduced by at least 75% and they have savings of less than $5,000.
  • Owner obligations for routine repairs and inspections have been relaxed but regulatory obligations to ensure tenant safety in the rental property continue to apply.
  • Tenants may refuse physical entry for non-essential reasons, including routine repairs and inspections, particularly if a member of the household is a vulnerable person. However, tenants must agree to virtual inspections if physical inspections cannot take place.
  • Tenants and property owners should work together to reach agreement. If agreement cannot be reached, parties are required to undertake conciliation to resolve disputes and achieve conciliated agreements, which form part of the tenancy agreement.

RTA Response
Details regarding the impact of COVID-19 are outlined on the RTA website, please take particular notice of the following points in relation to negotiations and conciliation process so that you can make an informed decision for your situation.

The RTA is continuing to encourage tenants, owners and property managers to discuss any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on a current tenancy agreement, and to document any agreements made. The RTA’s tenancy variation agreement form (Form 18d) is available to assist with this.

Customers will need to complete a Self-Assessment Checklist to see if they are eligible before requesting the RTA’s COVID-19 dispute resolution. Customers who do not meet the eligibility criteria will still be able to apply for RTA dispute resolution using the general Dispute Resolution Request (Form 16). However, applications made through the COVID-19 process will be prioritised.

COVID-19 Government Website
The Government has formulated a website which can be viewed here. This website has FAQ and details for both tenants, landlords and Property Managers.

Communication
Our Agency is continuing to experience a high volume of calls and emails from owners, please rest assured that we are communicating immediately with our owners when we are advised of the tenant’s hardship situation. If you have not received an email, then your tenants should be continuing to meet their rental obligations as normal.

Routine Inspections
We are finalising a process to conduct Routine Self-Inspection for your tenants to complete and a full report with supporting photos will be provided to owners. We hope to have this process finalised this week and will be rolling this out over the coming weeks.

Working as a Team
Our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our communities. We look forward to continuing to work together to support you through this time.

Regards

Russell Peter | Principal