Queensland - Tenancy Law Changes - 2nd April 2020

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Queensland - Tenancy Law Changes - 2nd April 2020

Although we still await final news of any tenancy law changes in Queensland that will be implemented as a result of financial hardship due to Coronavirus, we have had some promising news overnight.

(Note – the next Cabinet meeting is due 3rd April, where further news on tenancy law may be forthcoming – I say ‘may’ as we have thought this a few times now!)

 

In a live Q&A streamed on facebook, QLD State Treasurer Jackie Trad has given her understanding that tenants are “incredibly fearful” that they may not be able to meet their rental payments. She has pledged that the government will backdate the eviction moratorium to March 29 2020.

There were two points clarified:

6 month moratorium on evictions

This matter has been initially misconstrued across social media, with some tenancy groups sprouting “no rent for six months” – which is simply NOT the case. We have pro-actively communicated with our tenants that this isn’t the case. We have had a wonderful response from most tenants to the factual information we are providing them, to help them understand the changes as they come to light. Naturally, some tenants are impacted financially right now, and we are working with them through the information they need to provide and the support channels available to them.It was great to see a little more clarity on this, which was as follows: • Eviction moratorium will be written into law by QLD government “for tenants who can’t make rent because they’ve lost their job due to coronavirus or the impacts, either directly or indirectly, of coronavirus”. • “There will be an absolute moratorium, prohibition, written into law around evicting renters because they can’t pay their rent and that will be backdated to the day the Prime Minister announced that out of the national cabinet,” she said. However, this only applies to those “genuinely impacted” by the Coronavirus pandemic. • There will NOT be a blanket prohibition of evictions – tenants that do the wrong thing will still be able to be evicted. There was also an indication that owners that need to move in because of financial stress will still be able to. We expect further details on this will follow. • There will be financial support provided to tenants who would otherwise be facing eviction – to help them make up the shortfall in rent until they start getting income support or another job.

Rental assistance – up to $500 a week – payment to ‘get tenants through’

• The challenge we are currently facing is that although many people will be receiving Centrelink support in order to continue to meet their financial obligations, for many this payment will not kick in until at least 27th April. This leaves many feeling very anxious about how to get through the coming month. • The QLD government has introduced a grant program. This provides a payment of up to $500 a week, for up to four weeks. This is a short-term grant payment. • The tenant will need to prove they have tried all avenues – Centrelink etc – to qualify for this grant. It is intended as a ‘last resort’ grant. • We believe the payment will go directly to the Landlord/Agent – not to the tenant • The RTA will be the body that tenants contact to access this payment – on 1800 497 161 The state government is also looking at further options to reduce homelessness – including potentially taking out head leases in hotels/motels to house those in need.

Further details are still to come – but it is promising to see that both state and federal governments appear to be taking a very balanced and consistent approach and understanding that private landlords are also subject to all of the financial risks out there that their tenants are, and that although naturally there will be an impact on many tenants and landlords to some extent, that there appears to be an understanding of the needs of all parties.

We remain as always, here and happy to help with any questions you may have to help you through these challenging times.

With thanks as always,

Aaron and Heather Jopson (and Michelle, Liz, Bianca, Jade and Lauren)

Business Owners – Beyond Property Management

07 3188 7651 / admin@beyondpm.com.au 

If you have any further questions, please speak to one of our Property Managers  on 07 3188 7651

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