As the owner of an investment property in Queensland, if you are not already aware of the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed Special COVID-19 Protections for residential tenants and landlords, The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) wants to ensure you understand them. As the peak body for real estate in Queensland, we support the need for tenant protection during COVID-19 however, we are fundamentally opposed to some of the proposed measures. You should be too. As a landlord, you will ultimately foot the bill if the following proposals are introduced:
- Your tenant/s will NOT have to pay back any rent. Put simply, a rent reduction negotiated with your tenant/sis a permanent rent waiver meaning you, as the landlord, will be out of pocket, with no means of recovering any unpaid rent in the future post COVID-19.
- You CANNOT ask your tenant/s for any proof of financial hardship. Your tenant/s can request reduced rent due to COVID-19 without any proof. This potentially exposes you to false claims and exploitation of the proposed protections for those who genuinely need it.
- Your Landlord Insurance will NOT cover you for rent in arrears. The normal terms of your policy won’t cover the rent reduction as this is a mutual agreement between you, as the landlord, and your tenant and you cannot follow the necessary rent default process as this is prohibited. (*Please contact your relevant insurer for individual policy conditions)
- Your tenancy agreement WILL immediately extend by 6 months if it expires during the 6 month freeze on evictions. Tenants will be automatically entitled to a 6-month extension of the tenancy agreement meaning any protections may last up to 12-months.
- Your tenant/s can REFUSE ENTRY for anything other than emergency repairs. Not only can your tenant refuse access, they don’t have participate in virtual property inspections either. There’s also no clarity as to whether prospective purchasers can inspect a property that is for sale.
- Your tenant/s can BREAK A LEASE with only 7 days’ notice. To make matters worse, you cannot recover any lost rent or costs associated with finding a new tenant as would normally apply.
Now you understand how the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed Special COV/0-19 Protections favour tenants at the expense of landlords, The REIQ needs your urgent help before Parliament sits to pass these protections on Wednesday, 22 April 2020. For our voices to be heard, complete your details in the landlord template letter to Premier Palaszczuk provided by clicking here. It’s that simple. Together we can make a difference and achieve a more balanced outcome for landlords.
REIQ Chief Executive Officer
- STEP ONE: Copy paste the below template letter into an email.
- STEP TWO: Insert your name at the end of the letter in your email.
- STEP THREE: Copy and paste the following subject header into your email: Urgent Review of Special COVID-19 Residential Property Protections
- STEP FOUR: Copy and paste Premier Palaszczuk’s email address into the recipient area in your email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- STEP FIVE: Press send.
The Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP Premier of Queensland,
Department of the Premier and Cabinet,
1 William Street,
Brisbane QLD 4002
RE: Urgent Review of Special COVID-19 Protections for Residential Tenants and Owners
As one of Queensland’s investment property owners, I am writing to express my serious concerns in respect of your Government’s proposed Special COVI D-19 Protections for Residential Tenants and Owners (“Renter Protection Package”). I implore you to reconsider aspects of the Renter Protection Package and to create a more balanced and fairer framework that provides better protection measures for both renters and property owners like myself.
While I support the protection of tenants who are in financial distress due to this pandemic, the scope of the Renter Protection Package is too broad in its application. I am calling on your Government to amend the following aspects of the Renter Protection Package:
- Introduce rent deferrals rather than permanent rent waiver rights for tenants. This aligns with the Federal Government model and framework adopted/being adopted in other jurisdictions;
- Introduce a minimum income reduction threshold for tenants to meet before they qualify for the protection measures. In New South Wales, a 25% income reduction requirement applies;
- Introduce a standard requirement for tenants to substantiate a rent reduction request to allow landlords to make properly informed and fair decisions about rent reductions;
- Introduce clear guidelines on property entry requirements, and broaden the range of activities allowed to continue, subject to applicable safety and hygiene protocols;
- Remove the proposed break lease right that allows tenants to simply walk away from tenancy agreements with only 1 weeks’ notice notwithstanding that those tenants are afforded all the other protections provided under the Renter Protection Package; and,
- Remove the proposed automatic right to a 6-month tenancy agreement extension which in effect introduces a 12-month moratorium in Queensland with the consequential imposition of permanent rent waivers that would be extended over this additional period.
As a property owner, I am also entitled to be supported by special regulatory protections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your Government’s proposed protections ignore my rights, take away my ability to derive critical income and take away control over an asset I’ve worked so hard to acquire. I strongly urge your Government to reconsider these damaging amendments, in favour of protections that offer a better balance of security and stability to property owners and tenants alike.