REIQ published a full page advertisement in support of Queensland real estate that appeared in Saturday’s Courier Mail. The importance of real estate to every Queenslander was outlined, all the while letting the community know how real estate activities are being delivered safely in the midst of a pandemic.
Dear Property Manager,
You probably already know that rental regulations around Australia will be changing in 2020. The specifics and timings differ across the states and territories, but key changes being implemented include giving tenants more control over their environment such as fewer restrictions on keeping pets.
We wanted to reassure you and the landlords you look after that Aon’s Landlord Insurance includes damage by pets to building and contents, flood and clean-up costs associated with illegal drug production(*). Optional cover is available for(*):
- Loss of rent
- Damage or theft of contents by tenants
- Liability cover
For more information about Aon’s Landlord Insurance, give us a call on 1800 105 590 or visit aon.com.au/agentsportal.
*Subject to full policy terms, conditions and exclusions.
We are thrilled to announce that John & Janet Angus from the Sunshine Coast are the new owners of our major prize, a brand new Kia Picanto worth over $17,240 RRP including all on road costs.
Ray White Buderim, the agency who manages Mr & Mrs Angus’ property, were so pleased to be involved in the opportunity to celebrate and be part of giving away a vehicle to one of their lucky clients and now very happy customers!
We hope Mr. and Mrs. Angus enjoy the car and we wish them safe driving from everyone here at Smoke Alarm Solutions. John has already let us know the Grandkids have named the car “Zippy”.
Thank you to everyone that participated in our Scratch’N Win promotion, it has been a great success and we’re extremely happy with the overwhelmingly positive response we have received.
Thank you for choosing Smoke Alarm Solutions to upgrade your properties.
Still need to claim your prize? It’s okay, you still have time! We have decided to extend prize claims by 2 weeks.
How to redeem your prize:
Visit www.smokealarmsolutions.com.au/scratch-&-win and complete the online entry form including full name, telephone number, email address, invoice number, property address upgraded, postal address for prize, unique code and submit the completed online entry form by 23:59 AEST on 14th April 2020 to claim your prize.
Adrian Schrinner, Lord Mayor of Brisbane, discusses what the Brisbane City Council is doing to make sure residents remain safe amid the #coronavirus outbreak.
Transportation and commuting
The Council has initiated new safety measures on Brisbane buses, ferries and CityCats, including payment by Go Card only as well as rear-door boarding on Brisbane buses to protect passengers and drivers from Coronavirus.
Nightly sanitisation of Council’s entire fleet is ongoing to allow residents to travel with confidence.
Residents who are moving around Brisbane on buses are urged to do so with caution by following social distancing rules.
Council is no longer allowing people to sit in the front passenger seat next to the driver.
For pedestrians, the Council has also programmed hundreds of inner-city traf-fic signals to run automatically 24/7, so people don’t have to press the button to get a green light.
If you, a loved one, or a local business are struggling to pay Council rates on time, please speak to the Council. There are several ways it might be able to assist you during this difficult time. The Council is here to help where it can those who are experiencing genuine hardship. There is no way of knowing how long or how far this crisis will extend.
The Council has asked parking inspectors to show leniency at this time and only issue warnings unless there is a serious safety issue.
Changes to Council facilities, events and services will continue to be reported to its website, (www.brisbane.qld.gov.au). You can also discuss Council assistance options by calling 3403-8888.
For the most up to date health advice, visit health.gov.au or call the Common-wealth Government Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080.
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk said Parliament would be recalled to push through legislation protecting renters.
New laws are needed to instate a national moratorium on rental terminations to protect tenants who have lost their jobs.
Ms Palaszczuk said she did not know the date as it would depend on when legislation was ready.
However, she said the Parliament would only be recalled to deal with urgent COVID-19-related legislation.
It comes after Treasurer Jackie Trad said she understood people were “incredibly fearful” that they may not be able to pay their rent and pledged that the government will backdate the eviction moratorium in Queensland to March 29.
In a live Q&A streamed on Facebook, Ms Trad said the state government had set up a grant program that offers an emergency rental assistance payment of up to $500 a week, for up to four weeks, for Queenslanders who cannot make rent.
“That is pretty obvious out there in the community that people are incredibly fearful about having an income and being able to make rent, being able to put food on the table, being able to make other sorts of cost-of-living obligations like utility bills,” Ms Trad said.
“We have in fact set up a grants system for those people in the private rental market, so where you’ve lost your job, you’re not going to get any income support from Centrelink until at least the 27th of April.
“The Queensland government has an assistance program where we will provide you $500 a week to help you with your rent payment and it’s a really simple process.”
The payments can be accessed by calling phone 1800 497 161.
Ms Trad also acknowledged the state government would be writing the eviction moratorium into law “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, she said the eviction moratorium is for people who have been “genuinely impacted” by a coronavirus.
“For tenants that do the things that would ordinarily see them evicted – if they significantly damage the property or the owners themselves move in because of financial distress – then that will still occur, this isn’t a blanket prohibition,” Ms Trad said.
“But where you have lost your job, your hours have been cut, and where you genuinely cannot make your rent, you will not be evicted and we will guarantee that by law and we will also help you make up the shortfall in terms of your rent payments until you start getting some income support, or hopefully get another job.”
Ms Trad said the government is considering renting out hotels to house the homeless.
“We are looking at every option, including hotels for those who find themselves homeless,” she said.
“We are looking at absolutely everything, including head leases in hotels or motels to make sure that we can properly look after those who are most vulnerable in our community.”
Karen Herbert has an important message for our residents around the impact of COVID-19
In this turbulent times, we want to reach out to our residents to let you know that we are here. It is currently still business as usual here at Arrive.
We are uncertain about what the future looks like. We put measures in place to be able to manage your property effectively whether it be here or remotely.
To minimise the risks, we have cancelled all routine inspections until further notice. But we urge you to still let us know of any maintenance issues preferably via the tenant app.
We will continue to lease properties until such time when we are told we simply cannot. And of course, we’ve got sanitising methods in place to protect all parties concerned.
We understand that the pandemic brings with it a range of impacts on all of us, and we recognise that some of you may be financially impacted. If you are experiencing any difficulty in paying rent, we ask you to contact us to discuss support options that we have in place.
If you are, however, unfortunately affected and have lost your job, we ask you to go directly to the Australian government website where there are lots of information on how you can get financial assistance.
Of course, we are aware of the toilet paper situation, or the lack of it, and we do ask you to be very mindful and not flush anything down the toilet aside from toilet paper as this will have blockage issues.
And finally during this unprecedented time, we ask you to remember your neighbours, call your family members, and remember to be compassionate, and make sure everybody is okay. This will pass and we will prosper, and in the meantime, stay safe, everyone!
The Government is acting decisively in the national interest to support households and businesses and address the significant economic consequences of the Coronavirus.
While the full economic effects from the virus remain uncertain, the outlook has deteriorated since the Government’s initial Economic Response announced on 12 March 2020.
The spread of the virus worldwide has broadened, and is expected to be more prolonged. Governments, both international and domestic, have announced stricter mitigation measures to slow the spread of the virus, which are having significant economic impacts.
On 30 March, the Government announced the $130 billion JobKeeper Payment to help keep Australians in jobs as we deal with the significant economic impact from the Coronavirus. This brings the Government’s total support for the economy to $320 billion across the forward estimates, representing 16.4 per cent of annual GDP.
These actions provide timely support to affected workers, businesses and the broader community.
The Government’s economic response targets three areas: (1) Supporting Individuals and Households; (2) Support for businesses; and (3) Supporting the flow of credit.
1. Supporting Individuals and Households
The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Australians to support them through the Coronavirus. This assistance includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation.
- JobKeeper payment for households
- Income support for individuals
- Payments to support households
- Temporary early release of superannuation
- Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates
- Reducing social security deeming rates
2. Support for businesses
The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.
- JobKeeper payment
- Cash flow support for small and medium businesses
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- Increasing the instant asset write-off
- Backing business investment
- Supporting apprentices and trainees
3. Supporting the flow of credit
The Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to ensure the flow of credit in the Australian economy. Timely access to credit is vital for businesses to manage the impacts of the Coronavirus.
- Support for immediate cash flow needs for SMEs
- Quick and efficient access to credit for small business
- Reserve Bank of Australia – Supporting the flow and reducing the cost of credit
Pigeons and other birds will shelter and nest under solar panels. They are attracted to sheltered places to get protection from the sun whilst having a high place to perch and then will use the space under the panels to build a nest.
Regular visits from birds create a mess on top of the panels, reducing their efficiency. However a more serious issue is the accumulation of nesting material and droppings underneath the panels.
Their droppings are corrosive. There is also a serious risk of increased electrolysis between different metals: the aluminium solar panels, stainless steel bolts and the metal of the roof sheeting. This occurs because the debris retains moisture and also forms a bridge that can bypass the insulators and fittings that are installed to prevent electrolysis.
On both metal and tiled roofs, the accumulated nest debris and droppings will also attract insects such as beetles and cockroaches to breed on your roof (and then enter the house). Eventually gutters and drains will be blocked and corroded, allowing water to leak and overflow from the gutters.
If birds on solar panels are allowed to successfully rear their young, even more birds will come back to the same building in the following breeding season.
Possum Proofing Solar Panels
Possums view solar panels as excellent areas to shelter and will often nest underneath. They are attracted to the panels as they provide a safe, sheltered location and will happily live and nest in such places on top of the roof. Unfortunately they are guaranteed to make a mess under the panels and can often chew the wires leading to safety hazards for your family and expensive repair bills.
A pest control specialist will use a reliable, quality proofing method of excluding the possums from under the panels. This proofing product is stainless steel black UV coated wire mesh with UV stable nylon retainer hooks and washers. It clips onto the panels so you can remove a section for servicing if required, and it does not screw into the panels so does not void your panel warranty. This product also allows excellent water and airflow under the panels to avoid heat build-up.
Possum nests will be removed before the mesh is fitted and if there is significant mess created by possums or birds. Pest controllers will usually provide a quote to pressure wash the roof before the solar panel proofing is installed.
How Pest Control Specialists Can Help
Overall it is better to be pro-active: exclude the birds and possums from getting under the panels and reduce the tendency for them to stay on your roof. Hire a team of people experienced in proofing solar panels to get rid of pigeons and possums using their proven proofing product. In the longer run it is much cheaper to exclude the unwanted visitors as that reduces future maintenance costs and ensures that the efficiency of power conversion from the sun is not reduced.
Experienced, registered pest controllers will be able to combine this solar panel proofing with legal chemical treatments to get rid of pigeons and reduce the bird numbers, if needed.
***If you are a tenant, you need the owner’s permission to conduct any proofing work at the property, as it is structural work on the house. Make sure the owner is aware of the issue and they request the inspection from the pest controller directly.
New data released by SQM Research today has revealed the national residential rental vacancy rate declined in February 2020 to 2.0% from 2.1% recorded in January, with the total number of vacancies Australia-wide now at 68,079 vacant residential properties.
Most states recorded minor declines in vacancy rates with the exception of Hobart which recorded a 0.3% increase. Adelaide remained stable at 1.0% vacancy rate.
Sydney has surpassed Darwin recording the highest vacancy rate in the country at 2.9%, having dropped 0.3% basis points. Darwin sits at 2.7% with a 0.5% drop on last month. Canberra’s vacancy rate has declined to 1.0% and Melbourne is now 1.9%.
The year on year comparison revealed a similar decline when the national rental vacancy rate in February 2019 was 2.2% compared to 2.0% recorded for February 2020. Only Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart recorded higher vacancy rates compared to this time last year.
February marks the start to the new year in the property industry and gives us a clearer picture of the rental market. The decline in vacancy rates is a reflection of a seasonal increase in rental demand plus ongoing decline in dwelling completions and the ongoing increase in population. We are likely to record further declines in rental vacancy rates as 2020 progresses unless the country enters into a prolonged economic depression.
Over the month, Capital City asking rents decreased 1.2% for houses and 0.2% for units for the week ending 12 March 2020 to record asking rents of $562 per week for houses and $441 per week for units. In comparison over the 12 months, asking rents increased 0.4% for houses and remained steady for units.
Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra all recorded decreases in asking rents for both houses and units over the month. Perth was the only city to record rent increases for both houses and units, 0.1% for houses and 2.5% for units.
Over the month, Darwin and Hobart managed small increases for house rents of 1.2% and 0.5% respectively but unit rents has fallen by 2.4% for Darwin and 1.4% for Hobart.
Brisbane recorded decreases in house asking rents of 0.4% but unit asking rents remained stable.
Here’s a summary of the proposed changes:
- The abolishment of without grounds terminations and evictions – property owners to only end tenancies for approved reasons
- All rental properties must be weatherproof and structurally sound and must meet minimum standards for plumbing and drainage, security, fixtures and fittings, pests, vermin and infestation, ventilation, lighting, privacy and cooking and food preparation facilities
- Tenants will be able to make minor health, safety, security and accessibility changes to rental properties without the owner’s consent
- Tenants experiencing domestic or family violence can provide seven days’ notice to exit a tenancy and leave quickly or immediately
- Property owners cannot unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request to keep a pet
Let’s break down what the Queensland rental reforms mean for landlords and tenants.
What do the rental reforms mean for landlords?
First and foremost, the proposed changes abolish a landlord’s right not to renew a tenancy agreement at the end of its agreed term. Landlords can only end a tenancy for approved reasons such as:
- The landlord or their immediate family needs to move in
- The property has been sold or vacant possession is required
- There has been a significant breach of the tenancy agreement
- A person is occupying the property without consent
The reforms also introduce minimum housing standards and repair and maintenance obligations. If the rental property doesn’t meet minimum standards, it cannot be rented or rent must be reduced until maintenance is completed, which can mean loss of income for landlords.
Tenants will have seven days to complete and return the entry condition report and they will be able to authorise up to four weeks’ rent for emergency repairs, instead of the current two weeks’ rent. If the landlord is unavailable, the property manager will be able to authorise up to four weeks’ rent for emergency repairs.
Additionally, tenants do not have to obtain landlord permission to make minor modifications to the rental property for health, safety, security and accessibility reasons. This includes adding deadlocks, grab rails and furniture anchors. While tenants must inform the landlord of any changes, landlords can only refuse the changes by obtaining an order from QCAT.
Lastly, landlords cannot unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request to keep a pet unless the property is unsuitable for the pet or there are unacceptable health or safety risks. However, landlords can require the tenant to meet special conditions such as paying a pet bond.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has been petitioning against the reforms since their announcement as a third of dwellings in Queensland are investor owned, and thus the changes have “the potential to destroy Queensland’s rental market”.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella has called the proposed reforms a “slap in the face to every day mum and dad property owners” and predicts a decline in investor activity that could negatively impact rental supply and vacancy rates.
“Under the reforms, landlords will see their fundamental rights eroded, making property investment far less appealing, and as a result, we’ll almost certainly see investment levels drop,” said Ms Mercorella.
What do the rental reforms mean for tenants?
According to Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad, more than a third of Queensland households live in rental properties, with the figure rising to three in every five in some areas like the inner city. This means that the proposed changes affect a large number of people in the Sunshine State.
The abolishment of without grounds terminations and evictions, introduction of minimum housing standards and improved domestic violence protections aim to make renting safer and more secure for tenants. Existing repair and maintenance provisions will be enhanced and tenants experiencing domestic and family violence will be able to install security measures and provide seven days’ notice to exit a tenancy and leave quickly or immediately.
The reforms also introduce the right for tenants to make minor modifications for health, safety, security and accessibility reasons without landlord consent. These modifications must be carried out by a qualified tradesperson when required and any damage incurred must be repaired. Conversely, personalisation, energy efficiency and communication service connection changes such as hanging pictures or cable television connections still require landlord consent.
Tenants with pets will have increased access to rental properties as landlords cannot unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request to keep a pet. However, landlords can require the tenant to meet special conditions such as paying a pet bond or paying for professional pest control or carpet cleaning at the end of the tenancy. If the pet has caused any damage to the rental property during the tenancy, the tenant will be held responsible.
On the other hand, the proposed reforms will likely inflate rents for tenants due to an eventual decline in housing supply. As conditions become more unfavourable for landlords in Queensland, existing investors may sell their properties and investor activity will likely decrease. This will negatively impact the construction sector and those working in the real estate industry may face unemployment.
According to analysis by Propertyology Head of Research Simon Pressley, “reforms could cause rents to skyrocket by $100 a week” or $5,000 annually over the next two years due to the inevitable decrease in investor activity, subsequent domino effect and eventual decline in housing supply.
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni acknowledged that he believed the reforms would likely increase weekly rents by 5%, from an average of $360 per week to $378 per week.
“With many existing owners of Queensland investment properties already disappointed by the poor financial performance of their asset, this new legislation will be the final straw for some owners,” Mr Pressley said.
Let us know your thoughts on What the Queensland Rental Reforms Mean For Landlords and Tenants by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Silvia Liu on Jan 24, 2020 – Propertyme
Reposted by Karen Herbert Feb 3, 2020 – Arrive