Email received by Real Estate Excellence 18th March 2020 - Update 1 www.bccm.qld.gov.au
on Wednesday, 18 March 2020. Posted in Property Management information
Article and information that are of interest to property managers. Note; some articles may be Queensland legislation focused.
Email received by Real Estate Excellence 18th March 2020 - Update 1 www.bccm.qld.gov.au
From the RTA website - updated 7th April 2020 www.rta.qld.gov.au
Refer to RTA website for any updates to this information www.rta.qld.gov.au
Are you eligible for a Queensland COVID-19 Rental Grant? Learn more
On 29 March 2020, Australian governments met as the National Cabinet and announced that evictions will be put on hold for six months for residential and commercial tenancies affected by the financial impacts of COVID-19. On 3 April, the Prime Minister noted that further work will be done by the Treasurers on residential tenancies.
You can learn more about the proposed measures by:
• reading the Prime Minister’s full address
• downloading the Australian Government’s official Coronavirus Australia app in the Apple App Store and Google Play; or following the Government's WhatsApp channel
• calling our information hotline on 1800 497 161 from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, or from 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday
• texting (SMS) “Hi” to 0480 000 782
• visiting our RTA COVID-19 response page.
We will update our website and eNews subscribers when more details become available.
The RTA encourages all parties in a tenancy to be understanding and reasonable in their dealings with each other, consider each situation individually, talk to each other to negotiate a suitable outcome, document any decisions made, and adhere to any government and/or health agency requirements.
If you are a public housing tenant, visit the Department of Housing and Public Works website. For the latest COVID-19 health updates, visit Queensland Health’s website. For details on the State Government’s economic relief package, please visit the Business Queensland website. For official Australian Government information and support in response to COVID-19, please visit Australia.gov.au.
Please note: Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the RTA is currently experiencing longer wait times across our customer and support services. We thank you for your patience.
Sourced article www.lexology.com 16th March 2020
We are all in uncertain, unprecedented and uncharted waters. Listen to the short podcast regarding the Coronavirus and Real Estate - thoughts for now here. Take care, Stacey Holt
Sourced article begins below.
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared Coronavirus (COVID-19) a “pandemic”. The WHO defines a pandemic as “the worldwide spread of a new disease”. The onset of Coronavirus raises a myriad of legal issues.
Your Health and Safety
As at 12 March 2020, it was 65 days since the Coronavirus was first diagnosed. The WHO recommends that to prevent the infection spreading humans should regularly wash their hands, cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cook meat and eggs and avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms such as coughing and sneezing.
Travel has been affected, particularly at the international level. The Australian Government has restricted some travel and issued warnings in respect of some countries. The Australian Government’s Department of Health website regularly contains updates including relevant travel and health information.
Workplace Health and Safety
Both employers and employees have a statutory obligation to ensure that they operate within a healthy and safe work environment. Although the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) and its Northern Territory counterpart, the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 do not place a specific obligation on persons conducting a business or undertaking to develop and have in place relevant policies it is generally accepted that good governance and practice includes having relevant health and safety policies in place.
In order to ensure that everyone knows what is expected, all workplaces should develop policies detailing how they intend to respond to the variety of threats posed by exposure or potential exposure to Coronavirus. The policies should deal with issues such as:
In the event that a staff member is required to quarantine, or you require a staff member to self-quarantine you will need to consider if and how that person is renumerated for the period of their absence from the workplace. The options may include:
There are however restrictions on when an employer can require an employee to take leave (whether paid or unpaid). You should have regard to any awards, registered agreements or employment contracts which may govern your employees. It may be that you will need to pay that employee their ordinary wage/salary. The Fair Work Ombudsman’s outlines the relevant information on this topic. You should also bear in mind the possible application of anti-discrimination legislation when framing your policies.
Federal and State Powers
The Federal, State and Territory Governments have a range of powers at their disposal that they can utilise.
For example, at the Federal level there is the Biosecurity Act 2015 and the National Health Security Act 2007. On 26 January 2020, Coronavirus was included in the list of human diseases falling under the ambit of the Biosecurity Act. This enables restrictions to be placed on entry and exit from Australia and the imposition of individual control orders.
In South Australia, the Government declared Coronavirus a notifiable condition pursuant to the South Australian Public Health Act (2011). Amendments to this Act enhancing the power to control people’s movements and requiring people to undergo testing came into force on 5 March 2020.
On 6 February 2020, Coronavirus was declared a “notifiable disease” in the Northern Territory pursuant to the Notifiable Diseases Act 1981. This Act provides power to require persons to undergo treatment and to take steps preventing the possible spread of the disease. This could include a requirement that an infected person be removed and detained at a hospital.
There are a myriad of ways in which your business could be affected. For instance:
Where you are unable to complete or fulfil a contract the starting point is to examine all the relevant clauses. Most business contracts will contain a force majeure clause.
If you do have an interruption to your business, whether because you had to close your workplace or because of a supply chain disruption you should have regard to all relevant business insurance policies that you have in place.
In the event that you or one of your staff members contracts Coronavirus in the course of employment this may trigger a worker’s compensation claim.
In the event that you are entering into new contracts you may wish to include specific provision relating to the potential affect on the performance of the contract in connection with Coronavirus interruption.
Organisations/employers are starting to restrict travel and attendance at events. This has a consequential flow on effect for event organisers who are now being forced to consider the viability of events. Putting aside the further effect on sub-contractors that may be effected such as caterers, security guards and the like the initial consideration for event organisers is whether or not there is any obligation to refund tickets or reservations already purchased. The answer to this question will depend on the terms and conditions upon which bookings were made and taken. This will require an individual analysis on an event by event basis.
Insurance is available for event cancellations and non-appearances of key personnel. Whether or not relevant policies are triggered is again a question that needs to be determined on an individual policy basis.
As to what the rights are of affected sub-contractors will also need to be determined by reference to their supply contracts and/or any insurance (such as business interruption) that they may have in place. Once again this is dealt with in the separate contractual and insurance Alerts referred to above.
This content is current as at 13 March 2020. The speed with which Coronavirus is spreading and the varied responses both internally within Australia and externally change on a daily basis. It is important that you regularly keep up to date with all relevant information and be prepared to respond as the landscape in which the virus is moving changes.
Sourced from www.lexology.com 25th February 2020
Who is liable for an injury to a tenant caused by the state of a property the subject of a residential lease? The landlord? The managing real estate agent? Both?
Yeung v Santosa Realty Co Pty Ltd  VSCA 7 considers a landlord’s delegable duty of care to a tenant and issues pertaining to the apportionment of liability between the responsible parties.
In early 2014, a residential tenant (Tenant) slipped at night on the back stairs of the property she was leasing, causing her to fracture her right ankle (Incident). Relevantly, the stairs had no handrail and were worn, slippery and unlit. The Incident was then reported to the managing real estate agent (Agent) who proceeded to arrange the required rectification works.
The Tenant brought proceedings for negligence in the County Court of Victoria against the owner of the premises (Landlord) and the Agent. It was held they had both breached their duty to the Tenant and were liable for damages - liability was apportioned two thirds to the Landlord and one third to the Agent. The Landlord appealed the decision.
The decision on appeal
The appeal was upheld with the Court of Appeal finding that the Landlord had delegated his duty of care to the Agent and as a result was entitled to a complete indemnification from the Agent.
A central consideration of the appeal was whether the application of the duty of a landlord to take reasonable care to avoid foreseeable risk of injury to tenants can be discharged by the exercise of reasonable skill and care in engaging a real estate agent to take steps to keep the property safe. It was held that such a duty can, in certain circumstances, be completely discharged and delegated to a managing real estate agent.
In coming to this decision, the Court of Appeal made the following critical findings:
Implications for you
This decision confirms that a landlord’s duty to take reasonable care to avoid foreseeable risk of injury to tenants can, in certain circumstances, be completely discharged and delegated to a managing real estate agent.
For managing real estate agents, it is therefore crucial to understand and appreciate your obligations pursuant to your agreement with a landlord – especially those related to the scope of your property inspections, maintenance reports and required repairs. As this case shows, a failure to adequately perform such duties can attract severe consequences.
Yeung v Santosa Realty Co Pty Ltd (2020) VSCA 7
Preparation and presentation are the keys to success
Special one day event
All other upcoming special one day events including New and Renew Property Management training, Experienced Property Management training and new business training can be found here (or email us name and email address of attendee/s for us to register you to save the online booking fee charged by the provider).
Kedron Wavell RSL Chermside Brisbane
9am arrival for 9.30am start with 3.30pm finish with morning tea and lunch
Or register via email with names and email of attendees to save the online booking fee charged by online provider contact us
The session includes best practice completion of QCAT forms, how to prepare and present an application tribunal, what legislative sections all property managers should know, plus an overview of QCAT 'case law' and how to find and use the published decisions and appeals in agency practice.
All sessions are subject to change at the discretion of Stacey Holt (Real Estate Excellence) and or cancellation. Registered attendees will be advised of any changes to any event they have registered to attend via the email address used for registration.