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Property Management training - New smoke alarms laws and more

Queensland property management training

 
Break lease and changed of shared tenancy training will be delivered throughout Queensland.  The new smoke alarm laws that commence 1 January 2017 in Queensland shall be discussed during this training.
 
Stacey Holt from Real Estate Excellence will present the following content during this interactive education workshop. Real Estate Excellence always focuses on risk management, compliance and best practice. A comprehensive workbook will be provided with the content below. The information below is from chapter 14 and 15 of the PME manual.
 
14.1 What is a break lease?
14.1.1 Ending the tenancy via mutual agreement
14.2 Excessive hardship and the tenant
14.2.1 Excessive hardship and the lessor
14.3 Break lease procedure
14.4 The legislation generally and more procedures
14.4a Charging the lessor the letting fee before the tenant pays
14.4.1 Compensation from a tenant due to break lease and or early ending of the tenancy
14.4.1a Advertising the property for a lower rent for a break lease
14.5 If the tenant hands the keys in to the property for a break lease
14.6 Rent arrears and break lease
14.7 Tenant gives a form 13 and vacates the property (break lease)
15.1 What is a change of shared tenancy?
15.1.1 The legislation
15.2 One or more tenants moving out of the property (one or more tenants remaining)
15.3 One or more new tenants moving into the property (with existing tenant remaining)
15.4 Charging tenants for change of shared tenancy arrangements
15.5 Disputes between co-tenants and approved occupants
15.6 Change of shared tenancies and the RTA
 

Postage time frames - QCAT view

Queensland

Real Estate Excellence recently wrote to QCAT seeking written confirmation and guidance for the industry in relation to postage time frames.

Since Australia Post mailing changes commencing in January 2016, there has been some confusion, frustration and angst in the industry in relation to views and interpretations on how much postage to add to notice periods required in the RTRA Act.

Below is an extract from information provided to Real Estate Excellence from QCAT. Before reading below, please ensure that you understand notice periods under the RTRA Act.

The examples below provided by QCAT, relate to the RTA Form 11. Section 328 is the relevant section of the Act that states the relevant notice period in relation to a RTA Form 11 Notice to Remedy Breach which 7 days (clear days meaning midnight to midnight calculation period). Other notice periods for matters under the Act greatly differ such as 2 months notice to leave for without grounds.

Members of Real Estate Excellence - If you require any further assistance on this matter and or would like our fact sheet "issuing, giving, serving notice' which includes information about email and creating evidence of serving documents, please contact us

QCAT conservative guidelines for RTA Form 11

  • * Post - 17 days (7 days required notice by law) plus post
  • * Express post - 11 days ( 7 days required notice by law) plus express post
  • * Hand delivery - 7 days
  • * Email - 7 days

 

Professional Indemnity insurance and property management

Property Management – PI Insurance

Professional indemnity (PI) insurance is a must in Australia’s increasingly litigious society. But how many industry professionals really know how their policy works? One Queensland-based principal discovered, to their cost, that they didn’t.

It was a bitter $5,000 pill to swallow.

Or so says Chris Crasto, the principal at Crasto Properties in Robina, Queensland, who wrote to Real Estate Business last year in relation to a personal injury claim that he had received. An excerpt from his letter follows:

“Recently, for the first time in 14 years, we received a personal injury claim from a solicitor on behalf of one of our tenants who slipped on a steep, wet driveway and broke her ankle. She had been living in the property for over 2.5 years and has never mentioned issues with the driveway. Yes, it is steep and the house is over 10 years old, but it is not damaged or in disrepair.

The solicitor, who is a pro bono lawyer, is suing us and the owner of the property for negligence [for failing] to advise the tenant that the driveway could be slippery when wet. Under normal circumstances, I would have assumed that an owner’s public liability insurance should deal with this.

However, the solicitor is taking a blanket approach and the basis is that as we represent the owner, then we are liable.

We passed on the solicitor’s letter to [the insurance company] with whom we have our professional indemnity insurance, and we received an email stating that as a claim had been received, we were up for the $5,000 excess as they would have to defend the claim irrespective of whether there was a case or not or if we were negligent or not.

The challenge I see as a principal is that if every time a pro bono solicitor types up a letter of claim on behalf of a disgruntled or opportunistic claimant, we get slammed with a $5,000 excess.

In our case, my instinct was to send a letter from a solicitor refuting the claims. We were told by our insurers that we were not allowed to communicate with the claimants as that could void our policy.”

It was this letter that prompted Real Estate Business to ask a number of industry professionals what principals (and property managers) need to be aware of when taking out a policy.

 

Call for clarity to electronic transactions legislation for the Real Estate Industry

Real Estate Institutes call for clarity on procedures in electronic transactions legislation

In brief - Repeal of exemptions will facilitate broad use of e-contracts

All nine Australian Real Estate Institutes have, in a single submission to all nine Australian Attorneys-General, called for the reform of Commonwealth, state and territory electronic transactions legislation to enable contracts for sale of land and other property-related documents to be created via on-line forms (e-contracts) that are safe and simple to understand and use.

Exemptions obstruct development of property industry e-contracts

I co-ordinated this single joint submission together with Tim McKibbin, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales. We lodged the submission in November 2015 to all Australian governments.

Specifically, we seek the repeal of electronic transactions provisions (called "exemptions") which are confusing the procedure that should be followed if:

  • an e-contract needs to be signed by a company
  • a signature needs to be witnessed
  • an e-contract relates to a land transaction (South Australia only)

These exemptions are obstructing the development of consumer friendly e-contracts for most property-related transactions, including land sale contracts, sales agency agreements, residential and retail lease agreements and property management agreements.

The exemptions have created uncertainty and confusion as to what procedures should govern property industry e-contract transactions, and have, as a result, seriously delayed the development of property industry e-contracts that a consumer can easily access by computer and are safe and simple to understand and use.

 

Property Management training - Inspections and Maintenance

For dates, locations and to register, click on this link

Each attendee will receive a comprehensive workbook which will be an extract from the Property Management Excellence PME manual– the contents are what will be discussed and given in detail as set out below (chapters 9 and 13).

ROUTINE/GENERAL INSPECTIONS

9.1          Inspections, best practice and the law

9.2          Taking of photos

9.2a       Looking inside cupboards during inspection

9.3          Reporting to the lessor and system of reporting

9.4          Follow up

9.5          Grounds (reasons) for entry under the Act

9.6          Significant breaches during the tenancy

9.7          If the tenant refuses entry

9.8          General tips for carrying out a routine/general inspection

9.8.1      Tenant not keeping the property clean

9.8.2      Tenant caused damage to the property

9.8.3      High risk situations

9.8.4      Tips on how to complete routine inspections

9.8.5      Times inspections can be carried out or entry can be gained

9.8.6      RTA Fact sheet regarding entry to the rental property

9.9          When a notice is deemed served to a tenant (and lessor/agent)

MAINTENANCE

13.1        Maintenance – an overview

13.2        Emergency maintenance

13.2.1   Procedure for emergency maintenance

13.3        Routine maintenance

13.4        Lessor obligations and maintenance

13.5        Tenants’ rights regarding maintenance

13.5a     If a tenant ends the tenancy due to Form 11 or Form 13 and is disputed by the lessor (maintenance)

 13.6        Maintenance policy for agencies

13.7        Maintenance policy of the agency for lessors

13.8        Maintenance policy of the agency for tenants

13.9        Appointing contractors and tradespeople

13.10     Maintenance work orders

13.11     Lessor wishing to carry out their own maintenance

13.12     Lessor wishing to use their own contractors for maintenance

13.13     Lessor failing to carry out maintenance – a possible risk

13.14     Preventative maintenance

13.15     Tenant refusing entry to carry out maintenance

13.15.1 Entry for renovations and or improvements to the property

13.16     Email/Letter scripts to communicate maintenance to lessor and tenant

13.17     Rent reductions and maintenance

13.18     Request for funds from the owner to pay for maintenance, renovations, accounts

13.19   Contracting outside the Act

13.20     If a tenant issues a Form 11 that is not agreed upon or in dispute

Please note the Cairns and Townsville event was held in April 2016. The remainder of Queensland will be presented from June to August. One event per area.