Market Updates

Coronavirus – FAQ Landlord

July 14, 2020

At Reliance Real Estate, our priority is assisting and supporting our clients throughout this time.

In order to help you as a landlord understand the current situation and make informed decisions in relation to your investment properties that are currently under management.

How can I contact my Property Manager or the Office?

For the safety of our team, we are currently working at remotely and the offices are only available for appointments at this time. You can reach your property manager on their mobile, office landline number or via email.

Rest assured, we have heavily invested in technology over the years which makes working remotely a breeze and have minimal impact to our clients and business operations.

Does this situation change any of my rights as a Landlord?

Despite the changing circumstances, your rights as a Landlord remain the same. Tenants and Landlords must continue to abide by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. There are measures that the State and Federal Governments may put in place that may relate to the tenancy. We will update this page as often as possible when any new arrangements have been made. The following website will have the most up to date information about any tenancy changes during this time; CAV – Coronavirus and Tenants Rights

Will routine inspections be taking place?

Offices have currently postponed any face to face routine inspections that were due to take place. When the social distancing restrictions have eased these routine inspections will be rebooked.

What is the process for rental inspections to attract a new tenant?

The government has now restricted public inspections for properties for lease and for sale. In light of this, the property management team has partnered with our marketing team to ensure all our properties that are currently for lease have a video walk-through tour. Enquirers will have a private inspection arranged and ensure that the government guidelines are being followed throughout the inspection time.

What happens if my tenant cannot pay rent as a result of financial distress?

Under the new laws, your tenant will not be able to stop paying the rent. But they will be entitled to.

  • Apply to leave the tenancy if they want to for financial hardship, without paying fees for breaking the lease; or
  • Stay and negotiate a rent reduction with you.

We appreciate this is a really challenging time. To get through this crisis, all of us will have to work together.
Under this reform, landlords will not be able to evict tenants, except in specific exceptional circumstances (including if tenants damage the property, use it for criminal activity, or serious violence occurs).

You will still have the same responsibilities to your tenant that currently exist under your lease, including carrying out repairs.The new laws will apply from 29 March 2020. This means that you cannot serve a notice to vacate from that date.

What financial help is there for me?

Contact your insurance and mortgage providers to determine the terms covering your situation.

Your tenants may be eligible for support under a new and dedicated $80 million in rental assistance for those facing financial hardship. Tenants may be entitled to up to $2,000 from the Victorian Government, to help cover any shortfall in their rent. This money is paid directly to you.

If you agree to reduce the rent, you may also be eligible for a 25 per cent land tax reduction. A deferment to 31 March 2021 may also be possible.

View the Rent Relief Landlord Process Guide here: https://bit.ly/3bob9Eo

Any advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Information in this article is correct as of the date of publication and is subject to change.

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