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Coronavirus Update - Landlords

Apr 16, 2020 12:33:25 PM

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At Harcourts, our priority is supporting our clients and the community throughout this challenging time.

During recent conversations we have been asked a number of questions about the state of the rental market, the impact that Coronavirus is having on Landlords and how we are adapting to the changing landscape.

We have put together a series of frequently asked questions to help guide you through the process for Landlords.

If you would like to discuss anything further, our team of local Property Managers are here to support you. You can speak with them over the phone, on video call, via email or in person if that is an option in your location, with the appropriate social distancing measures in place.

Are property managers still contactable and available for meetings?

You can still contact your Property Manager at any time by calling their direct mobile number or via email. Click here to find your Property Manager or office.

Does this situation change any of my rights as a Landlord?

Despite the rapidly changing situation, your rights as a Landlord remain the same. Tenants and Landlords must continue to abide by State and Federal legislation. There are measures that the State and Federal Governments have put in place that relate to the tenancy. We ask that you contact your Property Manager for further details

Are routine inspections still being conducted?

Offices in metro Melbourne have currently postponed any physical routine inspections that were due to take place and will be in touch to arrange a time with your tenant to inspect your property either by virtual inspection or when social distancing measures have eased. Many of our Property Managers are conducting virtual inspections using tools such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc.  Once we have done a virtual inspection we will not need to do a physical inspection unless there were issues that needed to be addressed.

Can prospective tenants view my property without physically inspecting it?

Please note all in-person property inspections are restricted in some places to one person and one agent and via private inspection only. If the property is tenanted, we will need permission from the existing tenant and abide by State rules. In metro Melbourne, all inspections are virtual.

We are exercising the utmost care for our teams and clients when it comes to hygiene and social distancing practices when hosting private inspections.

What is the process for rental inspections to attract a new tenant?

All our Property Managers are exercising the utmost care when it comes to hygiene, social distancing practices and Government regulations when coordinating virtual inspections or hosting private inspections of properties.

The following procedures have been put executed:

  • Maintaining healthy social distancing (at least 1.5m)
  • Advising attendees to refrain from touching surfaces within the property where possible

We also request attendees refrain from attending an inspection of an unoccupied property if they have:

  • Tested positive to, or have symptoms associated with Coronavirus
  • Recently been in contact with someone diagnosed with Coronavirus
  • Recently been overseas or agreed to any self-isolation conditions

What happens if maintenance needs to be undertaken at my property?

Should any maintenance be required, your Property Manager can organise for the relevant tradesperson to attend your investment property. There are currently no restrictions on tradespeople entering properties, except for the number of tradespeople allowed in the same space at any one time in line with social distancing guidelines. And in metro Melbourne, we are currently allowed to organise emergency repairs. We ask that all our trades contacts abide by our Coronavirus hygiene protocols to ensure the safety of your tenant/s. We do caution that they may be a delay in getting trades to attend works, and in such instances urgent repairs will be given priority.

What if a landlord wants to move into their investment property?

As each State legislation on this matter is different, we ask that you contact your Property Manager if you do need to move into your investment property.

Can I be protected in the event my tenant defaults on payments?

We are required to follow State legislation to ensure that your landlord insurance policy remains valid. Any changes we make to the tenancy such as rent reductions or payment plans we will refer to your insurer for update and advice then refer to you - our landlord prior to any decision.

What happens if my tenant needs to vacate the property due to financial hardship?

Each State has legislation covering a tenant wishing to vacate due to COVID-19, please contact your Property Manager for more details. Click here to find your Property Manager or office.

What happens if my tenant cannot pay rent as a result of financial distress?

Each State has legislation covering tenants who may be unable to pay rent due to COVID19, please contact your property manager for more details. Click here to find your Property Manager or office.

What is the process for ingoing and vacating tenants?

If a tenant is due to vacate, the process will be as normal, we will be ensuring we adhere to all relevant health and safety regulations. If a tenant wishes to postpone vacating the property we will do our best to find a solution, bearing in mind that the property may have been leased. Please discuss the procedure in metro Melbourne with your property manager.

For tenants that are moving in, we can send all documentation electronically, conduct any appointments via video or in person adhering to social distancing rules. You will be notified by your Property Manager where and when to collect keys for your new home

For more information on leasing in a Coronavirus environment in your area, please contact your local Harcourts office or Property Manager. Click here to find your Property Manager or office.

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Topics: Property Management, Landlords, Australia Property Manager, Advice for Landlords, Corona Virus, COVID-19