Brighter Landlording

REIQ challenged Palaszczuk to achieve a fair middle ground on COVID-19 guidelines for property owners

by Justin Watt, CEO 20 April 2020

Real estate peak body the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has campaigned heavily and successfully challenged the Palaszczuk government for a fairer balance between owners and tenants in Queensland.

The Palaszczuk Government says it has worked with industry stakeholders to establish Guidelines to support Queensland’s approach to implement the moratorium on evictions decided by National Cabinet.

The REIQ lead by CEO Antonia Mercorella campaigned heavily and challenged the Palaszczuk government for a fairer balance between owners and tenants in Queensland. They ran a three day campaign for clarity in the property market before the state government “conceded” and made the new guidelines.

REIQ chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella they were satisfied with the framework which provided a more balanced approach for tenants and owners.

“The previously proposed measures would have seriously harmed over 600,000 property owners who provide the vast majority of rental housing supply to 35 per cent of Queensland’s population who rent,” Mercorella said.

“Furthermore, it would have had a devastating impact on the future of the property market and broader Queensland economy.

“We support the protection of tenants who are in financial distress due to this pandemic. However, the scope of the previously proposed measures were too broad in their application.

A summary of the Guideline includes:

  • Threshold criteria to qualify for the application of the COVID-19 rental response, that includes a 25 per cent reduction in income, or where rent exceeds 30 per cent of the tenant’s income.
  • Tenants can be asked to provide the same proof of finances to property manager just as they would when starting a tenancy.
  • Clear guidance on access for the sale of the property, virtual rental inspections and access for essential repairs and maintenance.
  • A 75 per cent income loss threshold before a tenant can end a tenancy with a 7-day cap on break lease fees.
  • Limiting any extension on the term of a tenancy agreement during the COVID-19 period to September 30, 2020 unless agreed otherwise by the owner and tenant, or there is an appropriate ground to end the tenancy.

The Residential Tenancies Practice Guide Covid-19 will be published on the Queensland government’s new coronavirus website.

If you’re a landlord or tenant and have questions about your current real estate situation, please get in touch with us today.

Still have unanswered questions? Check out the COVID 19 Q&A with the REIQ; questions on new tenancy rules.