Learn More About Where You Stand - Landlord FAQs
Supporting our clients and team, is the number one priority across our Stockdale & Leggo network. During these challenging and unprecedented times, we are seeking to be the go-to resource for our current and potential tenants and landlords; always available to answer any of your questions. Listed below are some of our most frequently asked questions for your assistance. Please reach out to one of our agents if you have any further questions, they will be sure to help you while practising safe social distancing.
How can I be in touch with my Property Manager or local Stockdale & Leggo office?
Give us a call! Our office phones are all still in operation, as well as each of our direct mobile numbers. Alternatively, feel free to send either your property manager or local office an email. We are also happy to do a video call if you would prefer a good old-fashioned face-to-face conversation.
Have my rights changed as a Landlord?
Don’t fret, despite the changing climate, your rights have not changed! Both Landlords and Tenants must continue to abide by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. However, certain temporary measures may be put in place by the State and Federal governments that relate to your situation. The best place to keep up to date with this information is: CAV - Coronavirus and Your Rights.
Will routine inspections be taking place?
While face-to-face routine inspections have been postponed for the immediate future, your Property Manager is undertaking these via virtual means. Routine inspections are held via Zoom or Skype call with the tenant.
What is the process for rental inspections to attract a new tenant?
Open for inspections are looking slightly different at the moment. Rather than the usual group inspections, our Property Managers are offering private one-on-one inspections with prospective tenants. Anyone attending the private inspection must comply with the Government’s latest regulations, including abiding to Social Distancing practices of 1.5 metres distance from other people and maintaining the highest standards of personal hygiene. We ask all prospective tenants to avoid entering the property if they have;
- Are feeling unwell or developing flu-like symptoms;
- Have recently returned from overseas travel;
- Have been in contact, or living with anyone that has recently returned from overseas
These precautions have been set in place to clear what is considered the optimum incubation period the virus requires to present symptoms that may indicate that you have contracted the Coronavirus.
If prospective tenants have abided by the rules on a 14-day isolation period based on the aforementioned, and have no present symptoms of the Coronavirus, then entry to the property will be allowed.
Some inspections will also be held online via a virtual tour. In this situation the Property Manager will contact tenants to gain access to the property to film a short walk-through video. This process will reduce unnecessary access to the property.
What about if I need maintenance completed at my property?
If you so happen to require maintenance during this period, please contact your Property Manager as per usual. They will organise for the relevant tradesperson to assist you and your tenants. Currently there are no restrictions in place prohibiting tradespeople entering your property. However, they must comply with the number of tradespeople within the home at any given time, whilst adhering to social distancing practices and a high standard of personal hygiene. We do caution that there may be delays in getting tradespeople to attend properties due to the current circumstances, in which instances of urgent repairs will be given priority.
Will I be protected in the event my tenant defaults on payments?
We suggest that you review your Landlord’s insurance policy to see where you stand on this. In most cases, the policy will cover you if the tenant defaults on their rent. These claims do however require the tenancy to come to an end before you are able to make a claim. It is also important to note that any agreement you reach with your tenant to reduce or defer rent, will not be claimable.
Reach out to your Property Manager if you have any further questions or would like any advice.
What if my tenant needs to vacate the property due to financial hardship?
If this is the case, your Property Manager will be in touch with you in the first instance to begin negotiations on reduced rent or other means of keeping the tenant in the property. If these do not meet their needs, your property manager will work with all parties involved to arrive at an arrangement for the lease to end prior to the previously agreed upon fixed term lease.
Your Property Manager will guide you through this process, just reach out to them. If a tenant or tenants are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus, then we have a process in place to help them through this. The financial hardship applications that we have created are deigned in the best interest of our landlords, and tenants cannot waive or defer their rent unless they can prove they are in true financial hardship due to the Coronavirus. Please reach out to your Property Manager for more information on our financial hardship application process.
What happens if my tenant cannot pay rent as a result of financial distress?
While Tenants and Landlords still need to abide by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, the Government is encouraging Landlords and Property Managers to be compassionate and show goodwill during these challenging and unprecedented times.
The Federal Government announced that there will be a six-month tenancy eviction moratorium for tenants who are experiencing financial distress as a result of Coronavirus. Please see our blog titled https://www.stockdaleleggo.com.au/blog/view/what-does-a-tenancy-eviction-moratorium-mean-for-you for more information.
What is the Rental Relief Package and how does it work?
On April 15th, State Governments announced a package will become available to support tenants and landlords who encounter financial difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus. While the package has not yet been formally legislated, the early reports indicate that there will be assistance from the State Government for tenants who may be unable to meet their contracted rental requirements and also for Landlords who are seen to be assisting their Tenants in meeting their rental requirements.
There are qualifying criteria that need to be met in order to receive the assistance packages, of which the finer details are yet to be expanded upon. We will be keeping up-to-date and informed, as to best keep you and your tenants informed. In the interim, feel free to reach out to your Property Manager if you have any further questions.
Any advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account 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.