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 Tenants and 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 Tenants and 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 with the appropriate social distancing measures in place.
How can I contact my Property Manager?
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.
Can I still rent with Harcourts?
Yes, we have a lot of high-quality properties available to rent across Australia. From city apartments to family homes, we will help you find a property perfectly suited to your lifestyle. To view properties available, visit our website or contact your local Harcourts office directly.
Are routine inspections still being run?
Offices have currently postponed any physical routine inspections that were due to take place and will be in touch to arrange a time to inspect your property when social distancing measures have eased. However, many of our Property Managers are now 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 I view rental properties without open homes?
Yes, you can still inspect properties. Please feel free to contact us to book a virtual appointment in metro Melbourne.
Please note all in-person property inspections are now restricted and via virtual inspection only. If the property is tenanted we will need permission from the existing tenant and abide by State rules. We are exercising the utmost care for our teams and clients when it comes to hygiene and social distancing practices when hosting virtual inspections.
What are Harcourts doing to mitigate the risk of exposure the Coronavirus during private inspections?
All our Property Managers are exercising the utmost care when it comes to hygiene, social distancing practices and Government regulations when hosting private inspections of unoccupied 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
Should in-person inspections be permissible, 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
I’m currently in self-isolation. Should I let my Property Manager know?
Tenants should let their Property Manager know if they are self-isolating or sick with COVID-19, especially if the agent, or tradesperson plans to visit or enter the rental property. Tenants should also make sure any other tenants, flatmates or visitors are aware of the situation.
I have maintenance to report. Will it get fixed?
Your property manager will be prioritising any urgent repairs at this time. That said, should you have any general repairs, they will be attended to when possible assuming there are skilled tradespeople available to carry out the work.
My Property Manager wants to send a tradesperson into my property but I’m not comfortable with it. What can I do?
If the repair is urgent such as a smoke alarm or hot water system, the repair must proceed as it is deemed urgent according to the Residential Tenancy Agreement. If you have concerns, contact your Property Manager and ask them what precautions the tradesperson will be taking prior and during visiting the property.
Are property managers still contactable and available for meetings?
Yes, we are still open for business, however we will be conducting most meetings over the phone and via video conference plus you can continue to communicate with us via email. Most of our teams are now working remotely, but please know your Property Manager will always remain contactable.
I’m having trouble with other household bills, what can I do?
If you are having trouble paying other household bills like electricity, gas or water contact your provider/retailer to find out about their customer assistance program and its eligibility criteria. All electricity and gas retailers are required to have a customer assistance program. If you are eligible under the program you are protected from disconnection and your retailer should work with you to develop a suitable payment arrangement and offer other relevant relief or support.
What is the process for in-going and vacating tenants?
If a tenant is due to vacate, the process will be as normal as possible, 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.
For tenants that are moving in, we can send all documentation electronically, conduct any appointments via method required, adhering to social distancing rules. You will be notified by your Property Manager where and when to collect keys for your new home
If you have any further questions about ingoing and outgoing tenants, contact your Property Manager to discuss directly.
For more information on renting in a COVID-19 environment in your area, please contact your local Harcourts office or Property Manager.
Any advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not consider the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Information in this article is correct as of the date of publication and is subject to change.