The Queensland Government has made the following media release as shown below. We shall continue to keep you informed of developments and when the legislation is passed. As at this date, no laws have been changed. There are some Questions and Answers from the Government at the link below. To be honest, it provides little clarity still, and some parts are contradictory of others. The ‘devil (or hopefully the clarity!)will be in the detail’ once legislation passes.
However, I assure you that our messaging to you remains the same – that our objective is always to work in our clients best interest and act as a voice of reason amongst the chaos. This remains steadfast and is a passionate core value of our team. As an Agency we are best practice with our processes and our team’s legislative knowledge is industry-best. Until actual legislative change comes, and in fact after that point, we will continue to contact you individually if we do receive a request from your tenants for rental relief, to talk through your priorities, your preferences, your position as well as the tenants. Be assured that if need be, we will contact you individually on a case-by-case basis for your decision and direction in relation to any potential requests for rental relief, as the reality is there is no text-book for this pandemic – every situation we will face will have a different client and a different tenant with unique circumstances.
Meanwhile, we have heard through social media – so it must be true – that the Easter Bunny has an exemption from safe distancing requirements and is allowed to cross state borders this weekend. So may you all have a wonderful, restful and chocolate-filled Easter.
We have copied and pasted below for you as of 9th April 2020 –
The Palaszczuk Government has unveiled a package of measures to implement the freeze on evictions.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is encouraging tenants, property owners and agents to work together to sustain tenancies during this public health emergency.
“We’ve all heard of stories of too many Queenslanders who are doing it tough right now, and the Palaszczuk Government recognises the hardship they are suffering. “It’s not in the interest of anyone to have tenants left without a place to go when we are fighting to prevent the spread of a deadly disease.
“We will not allow anyone to be evicted because they can’t pay their rent as a result of this crisis.”
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said that Queenslanders would always rally to support each other when times were tough, and that he was encouraged by the already high number of people resolving issues and supporting each other.
“Neither landlords nor tenants are to blame for this, and now is the time for them to work together to get through this pandemic” Mr de Brenni said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has launched an online rental hub at www.covid19.qld.gov.au/the-hub to provide all of the information and resources to support discussions between property owners and renters.
“For those that can’t reach an agreement, there will be compulsory conciliation for COVID-19 related disputes between tenants and landlords through the Residential Tenancies Authority.
“In asking tenants and property owners to find a solution that works for all parties, the RTA will have clear guidelines that prohibit a requirement to draw on superannuation, or sell basic personal assets.”
Freeze on evictions
Mr de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government will implement the National Cabinet decision to freeze evictions due to rent arrears for Queensland tenants impacted by COVID-19.
“We’re providing certainty by implementing a retrospective freeze on evictions, as of Sunday 29 March 2020.
New protections now mean that property owners will be prohibited from evicting a tenant if their lease expires during COVID-19 public health crisis.
“This means that a property owner must offer an extension to the lease for at least a further 6 months,” said Mr de Brenni
“Alternatively, if a tenant cannot pay rent due to impacts of coronavirus and wants to end their lease early, they will be allowed to do so.
“Tenants will still be required to demonstrate respect for their property and neighbours by maintaining their home in accordance with their tenancy agreement.”
The Deputy Premier said the Palaszczuk Government had also introduced fail-safe measures to support tenants experiencing hardship and unable to access or waiting for other financial support be there for Queensland tenants if all else failed.
“New eligibility criteria is now in place for rental grants of up to four weeks rent, or a maximum of $2,000.
“This is a last resort for Queenslanders in need of support while they are waiting for federal government support to prevent homelessness.”
Mr de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government would also implement legislative protections that would allow Queenslanders experiencing domestic and family violence to leave a rental property in a hurry.
“We want all Queenslanders to be safe at home, but for some people this is just not the case.
“If you need to escape in a hurry, we won’t allow paperwork to stand in your way.
“Immediate support to end tenancies quickly, change locks without seeking approval, access bond and separate from co-tenancies will be introduced.”
Deputy Premier’s office: Geoff Breusch 0417 272 875
Minister de Brenni’s office: Rosie Gilbert 0466 834 330
It’s never been more important to ensure people do not have to face the prospect of homelessness, than during this global pandemic. It’s critical from a public health perspective that people can self-isolate in their own homes, and this means ensuring that they can remain in their rental properties for the duration of this crisis.
Most renters and property owners are already coming to agreements, that are meeting the needs of both parties.
If you own a property for rent in Queensland, including a house, unit, share house, room, caravan or houseboat, there are rules that must be followed. Your rights and responsibilities are set out in the Residential Tenancies And Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
Neither property owners or tenants are to blame for the effects of COVID-19, and now is the time to work through this together to get out to the other side of this pandemic.
In response to COVID-19, we are introducing a range of measures to support the residential rental sector. These measures will help parties work together to agree a way forward during this time.
The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) can provide information and support tenants and property owners to reach agreement. They also offer a free dispute resolution service if you need further support.
If you need help with your tenancy, talk to the RTA:
- text (SMS) “Hi” to 0480 000 782
- call the RTA’s information hotline on 1800 497 161 from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, or from 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday
- visit the Residential Tenancies Authority
Starting a tenancy
- My tenant has moved out. What can I do to get my money?
- My tenant says they can’t pay the rent anymore. I still have bills to pay.
- My tenants were behind with their rent before the pandemic was declared.
- The mortgage on my investment property is in arrears, what relief can I access?
- My COVID-19 impacted tenants have abandoned my property – what can I do?
- Does my previous notice to leave still apply if it was before the emergency arrangements started?
Inspections and maintenance
Ending a tenancy
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org