COVID-19 & The RTRA Act (Updated 24th March)

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COVID-19 & The RTRA Act (Updated 24th March)

It feels like life is changing at a very past pace. Tonight, an announcement from federal government is anticipated that could impact a Lessor’s responsibilities during the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) pandemic period.   We will update you as more comes to light, and of any changes that affect the RTRA Act and your obligations as a Lessor.

 

At the moment, we remain operating as ‘business as usual’, particularly in relation to rent arrears – not because we are unsympathetic, but because our role is to protect you as our Client.  With requests for rent reductions, arrears leniency and the like, before any decisions can be made by you, we need to know that a tenant has investigated their options through Centrelink first, so that we have a full picture of the tenant’s circumstances in order to communicate this through to you.  There are many packages and benefits available, that are designed to keep people in a position where they can meet their financial obligations in the event of complete or partial loss of income.  We need to ensure no decisions you may make are made on a ‘knee jerk’ request from a Tenant who has not yet investigated and planned their options.  Of course, this is not always the case.  Again, we do not mean to sound heartless, but this is important for your landlord insurance.  If we are contacted by your tenants we will of course keep you in the loop and updated on their situation.  We remain as always, committed to respectful relationships and open communication with our Tenants.

 

In the meantime, before tonight’s pending announcement, we wanted to arm you with some tools that you can use to self-mitigate any loss or impact that the world, national and local situation may have on you personally.

Landlord insurance– I emailed in the past week regarding this and hope you have all taken note to check your policies and ensure you have good cover.  For anyone still wanting more information, here is a handy link from one of the common specialist landlord insurers that we see clients utilise.

Rentcover-coronavirus-faqs

If any clients would like to review or obtain Landlord Insurance and would like to take out cover with EBM, we are arranging with EBM for our clients to receive a discount on their first year policy that looks to be equivalent to about 2 months of free cover. If this interests you let me know and I will advise when details are finalised in the coming days.  

Speak with your Mortgage Broker– With a further interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank, interest rates are at record lows.  A mortgage review could save you thousands of dollars a year. If you have a Mortgage Broker then great – if not let me know and we can form an introduction to ours.      

Speak with your Financial Planner– Are all of your income protection insurances in place and up-to-date? Again, as Property Managers we naturally can’t help you directly, but are always happy to support our Clients by introducing them to people we work with and trust.

If you think you may need to sell your investment property– Please speak with us. Although we don’t ‘in-house’ real estate sales, we DO make sure we have trusted real estate sales agents in each area we manage properties. By having Agents that we know will give genuine advice on sales strategies for rental properties, we feel that our clients achieve the best result.  Naturally we prefer our clients never sell, but if you do want or need to sell, then we want you to be looked after!  We regularly see that when clients choose an unknown external sales agent, we are not kept in the loop regarding access to the property, the Tenant gets grumpy, and starts refusing access to the home.  In these current times where tenants are very sensitive about access to properties, if you do find yourself wanting or needing to sell, we urge you to consider using our preferred sales agents so that we can support access to the property as best we can and help everyone feel respected and heard – for the best outcome for you. 

I hope these tips have given you some ideas to try and navigate through these uncertain times.  We assure you that we are here for you, and would like you to rest assured that although there is so much at the moment that we can’t control for you – that you are in safe hands in that we will passionately and diligently look after you and your property the best we can through these trying times.

We will update further as more changes come to light.

With thanks as always,

Aaron and Heather Jopson

Business Owners – Beyond Property Management

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