Latest Real Estate Excellence Industry Update

Emailed to Real Estate Excellence free industry mailing list and or posted on social media

Review the latest Real Estate Excellence member update here. 

19th October 2020

Good morning,

I have received a number of emails from Real Estate Excellence members expressing thoughts and some concerns regarding the new RTA end of tenancy email service to tenants. The RTA advised industry they were going to start this service on the 10th August via the news part of their website and email.

If you and or your agency have any feedback for the RTA regarding this service, and or any other matter, I suggest clicking on this link and providing the feedback etc. www.rta.qld.gov.au/contact

The following information has been sourced from www.rta.qld.gov.au

 End-of-tenancy email for tenants

As part of supporting the end-to-end customer journey, the RTA has today launched an educational email, which will be sent to all tenants listed on a bond when our records indicate they are six weeks away from their tenancy end date.  

This educational email will:

remind tenants of their bond number, which is essential for transacting with the RTA

provide links to valuable resources to help tenants navigate the process when a tenancy is coming to an end

encourage tenants to update their details with the RTA

ask tenants to update their end-of-tenancy date if they’ve extended their tenancy, which will allow the RTA to better predict when there will be increased demand for our services, and to plan our resources accordingly.

13th October 2020

 Good morning,

As the industry is aware, the current Labor Government were very close to introducing a bill to make many changes to the RTRA Act after a lengthy consultation process. For more information regarding the consultation and proposed changes, click here.

We know we have a state election on 31st October. The LNP have communicated with me, and they do not support most of the Labor tenancy policies and future changes. To review the communication from the LNP, click here. It is expected that should Labor be re-elected, and once the Covid19 crisis eases, they will continue with the proposed changes which were paused due to the pandemic.

A reminder for Real Estate Excellence members regarding the October member update which included a 25 page overview of the Covid19 law changes etc., a lessor information guide regarding the laws and changes and more. Visit here for more information.

24th September 2020

Queensland is now the sole Australian state to not extend its ban on evicting residential tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a new open letter signed by almost 40 peak bodies, unions and frontline community organisations urging the government to do so. Read more here.

22nd September 2020 - Watch short video on the changes that are coming and what we know here.

21st September 2020 - An updated September member update has been emailed to Members of Real Estate Excellence regarding the Covid tenancy regulation amendments. Latest Real Estate Excellence Member update here.

18th September 2020 - Real Estate Excellence members - please note I have withdrawn the September Member Update emailed to you and posted on member online 1st and 3rd September given the regulations will be updated. An updated September member update has been uploaded to Member online.  

1pm An update regarding the below video regarding the Covid tenancy regulations - the Covid 19 tenancy regulations will be amended. View short video here.

7am View a video explaining the 17th September post here.

17th September 2020

Good afternoon, you most likely have heard, seen etc. the media and other reports regarding ending of the rent eviction moratorium etc.

In early August, I began preparing my membership best practice guides for the end of September. This is when I first became aware of the issue before us come September 29.  How can a notice to leave for rent arrears be given to a tenant for rent given that a notice to remedy breach cannot be issued first under section 11 (2)?

(Please keep reading for further explanation as to why).

I contacted the RTA mid-August regarding my questions and concern and we met.  At no point did the RTA state my thoughts were incorrect, nor explain the lawful way a notice to leave for unremedied breach rent arrears could be given post September 29.

I have emailed the RTA just now seeking urgent clarification. I am emailing you in good faith and transparency given my recent advice.

Section 8  of the Covid regulations states ‘relevant period means the period starting on 29 March 2020 and ending on the earlier of the following days—

(a)29 September 2020;

(b)the last day of the COVID-19 emergency period.

My initial thought is September 29 is the earlier period (December 31, 2020 is the last day of the emergency period), however, section 11 (2) states ‘2)The lessor must not give the tenant a notice to remedy breach under section 280 of the Act but may give the tenant a show cause notice for the unpaid rent’.

Given the above (and the law in full below), I cannot see how a notice to leave for rent arrears can be given as a notice to remedy must be given first.

Rent arrears, Section 8 and 11  of the Covid regulations.

Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020

Reprint current from 24 April 2020 to date (accessed 17 September 2020 at 14:32)

  1. Part 2
  2. Division 1
  3. Section 8

8 Moratorium on evictions

(1)Until the end of the relevant period, a lessor or lessor’s agent must not evict a tenant for failure to pay rent as required under the residential tenancy agreement if the failure relates to the tenant suffering excessive hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency.

Maximum penalty—50 penalty units.

(2)Subsection (1) does not prevent a lessor ending a residential tenancy agreement under the Act

(a)for any reason other than a failure to pay rent as required under the agreement; or

(b)for a failure to pay rent as required under the agreement if the failure was not related to the tenant suffering excessive hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency; or

(c)as a consequence of having given a notice to leave, or applying to the tribunal for an order terminating the agreement, before 29 March 2020.

(3)In this section—

evict, a tenant, means—

(a)give the tenant a notice to leave; or

(b)apply to the tribunal for an order terminating the residential tenancy agreement; or

(c)cause the tenant to vacate the premises by any of the following actions—

(i)coercing the tenant into agreeing to end the residential tenancy agreement under section 277(2) of the Act;

(ii)preventing the tenant from freely accessing the premises, including, for example, by changing the locks or intimidating the tenant;

(iii)causing the tenant to vacate the premises because of false or misleading information given to the tenant by the lessor or by another person on behalf of the lessor;

(iv)causing the tenant to vacate the premises because of acts of intimidation carried out by the lessor or by another person on behalf of the lessor.

relevant period means the period starting on 29 March 2020 and ending on the earlier of the following days—

(a)29 September 2020;

(b)the last day of the COVID-19 emergency period.

11 Unpaid rent—show cause notice

(1)This section applies if—

(a)the rent payable under a residential tenancy agreement has remained unpaid in breach of the agreement for at least 7 days; and

(b)the lessor knows, or ought reasonably to know, the tenant is or has been suffering excessive hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency.

(2)The lessor must not give the tenant a notice to remedy breach under section 280 of the Act but may give the tenant a show cause notice for the unpaid rent.

(3)If the tenant is given a show cause notice for the unpaid rent, the tenant must do either of the following within 14 days after being given the notice—

(a)pay the unpaid rent;

(b)inform the lessor the rent is unpaid because the tenant is or has been suffering excessive hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency.

(4)Despite subsection (2), if the tenant does not comply with subsection (3) the lessor may give the tenant a notice to remedy breach under section 280 of the Act for the unpaid rent.

(5)If—

(a)the tenant does not pay the unpaid rent within 14 days after being given the show cause notice; and

(b)the tenant informs the lessor under subsection (3)(b) that the rent is unpaid because the tenant is or has been suffering excessive hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency;

      the lessor may request that the tenant enter into a tenancy variation agreement with the lessor.

(6)This section overrides section 280 of the Act to the extent of the inconsistency between this section and section 280 of the Act.

(7)In this section—

show cause notice, for unpaid rent by a tenant, means a notice, in the approved form, stating all of the following—

(a)the tenant has not paid rent as required by the agreement;

(b)the amount of the unpaid rent;

(c)that the tenant must respond to the notice, or pay the amount of unpaid rent, within 14 days of receiving the notice;

(d)that, in responding to the notice, the tenant must state whether or not the rent is unpaid because the tenant is or has been suffering excessive hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency.

Also, section 35 and 37 are the provisions for the lessor to give notice for owner occupation and or property for sale/sold. The RTA advice as at today is that ends on 29th September. I have asked for clarification as to where it states in the Covid regulations that it ends at this time.   Read the laws here.

We still have over 2 weeks to get this right. Thank you.

16th September 2020

Good afternoon, as per the industry update on the 11th September, the Housing Minister has announced the information below.

Plus, since we last wrote, the following has been recorded. Listen to a Podcast regarding a notice to leave without grounds and Covid affected tenancies here.

 Greater certainty paves way for return to rent normality

Published Today at 03:00 PM

Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Several critical protections will stay in place to protect tenants as households continue to recover from the global economic impacts of the virus, Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said today.

These include:

  • Protections for tenants from being listed in a tenancy database for unpaid rent caused by COVID-19 impacts;
  • Tenants experiencing domestic violence being able to end their interest in a tenancy agreement quickly;
  • Limited reletting costs for eligible tenants who end their fixed lease early;
  • Entry restrictions and requirements that support social distancing requirements; and
  • Relaxed repair and maintenance obligations that recognise impacts on lessors while maintaining tenant safety in the rental property.

"These remaining COVID-19 protections for property owners and tenants will remain in place until 31 December 2020.

"The freeze on evictions was important in the residential sector when movement in Queensland was much more restricted," the Minister said.

"Because of our strong health response, we've been able to keep the economy more open and we've already started delivering Queensland's plan for economic recovery.

"This includes supporting businesses because that means supporting jobs.

"As a result, we've seen Queensland's economy fare better than other economies."

The RTA's latest COVID-19 conciliation data shows that tenants and property owners had worked together to resolve 1,677 disputes since April.

The volume of calls to the RTA has significantly reduced since the start of the year.

"Our free conciliation service will continue," the Minister said.

"We've seen 70 per cent of all conciliated tenancy disputes successfully resolved within an average of just over eight days.

"I want to congratulate property owners, managers and tenants for working together at what has been a difficult time for all Queenslanders.

"With the Australian property market expected to continue to change over the next period, we're asking all parties to continue to work together.

"I'd like to thank the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, Tenants Queensland, QShelter, Queensland Council of Social Service, and the Residential Tenancies Authority for their continued dedication to ongoing advocacy for their constituencies, whether they are tenants, property owners or managers."

For more information on assistance from the RTA, please visit rta.qld.gov.au/renting/covid-19-changes, read the Residential Tenancies Practice Guide, or call the RTA's 24/7 COVID hotline on 134 COVID (13 42 68).

The COVID-19 Housing Security Sub Committee, established by the government to monitor and advise on temporary measures during the global pandemic, will continue to observe impacts on the residential tenancies sector and recommend actions to support Queensland households.

Sourced from statements.qld.gov.au 

16th September 2020

Listen to a Podcast regarding a notice to leave without grounds and Covid affected tenancies here.

16th September 2020

QCAT update - sourced from QCAT website and posted on Real Estate Excellence Facebook page. For more information regarding this change, visit here.

QC

27th August 2020

Current public health alert for business activity (including for open homes and auctions) can be found here or Members email us please.

Good afternoon, 

The existing health alerts have not changed for Queensland agents and property managers regarding open homes.

Real Estate Excellence recommends members and industry to take extra caution and consider implementing additional procedures in reflection of recent events due to Covid19.

This may include best practice self-imposed restrictions of people entering property. 

 Current public health alert for business activity can be found here which includes information for agencies that began 24 July 2020. 

Real Estate Excellence members, please email us if your require any further support on this matter, or any other matter.

20th August 2020

Good morning, below are three free short training videos (each under 10 minutes in length). I hope you gain beneficial and of use.

PO Form 6 – tips and reminders – view here.

Form 18a – tips and reminders – view  here. 

Form 1a – tips and reminders – view here.

A reminder Property Management Excellence (PME)system member offices – there are many training videos at member online to assist with staff training and development. 39 chapters make up the PME system. If we can assist you, please let us know. Thank you.

12th August 2020

Good morning,

As the industry knows, 29th September is a key date for two reasons. The rent eviction moratorium ends and the requirement to extend Covid19 affected tenancies which expired prior to 29th September to be extended until 30th September. Tenants Queensland in recent weeks have begun lobbying for an extension and have started a petition to Government to extend these matters until 31st December 2020. Read more here.  

Real Estate Excellence members, I recorded a podcast this morning regarding the September member update and comprehensive information coming to you soon. Listen here.

The Housing Minister has been quoted in a Brisbane Times article today stating “government would be guided by national cabinet about the temporary protections, set to expire on September 29”.

We shall advise the Industry and particularly Real Estate Excellence members accordingly of any developments.

A reminder for Platinum PME and Platinum non PME members regarding the many best practice guides regarding all you need to know regarding the Covid laws are available at Member Online, (view a short video here) or please email us if we can assist with any best practice support on these, and any other matter.  

4th August 2020

Good morning, we hope this note finds you well. We thought you and the team may benefit from the below information.

‪Growing the rent roll in uncertain times and some thoughts, plus tips for overcoming management and let fee objections.

‪Apologies for little jumping around of me at beginning of video! I’m not used to sitting down 🪑.... hope these thoughts assist. 9.30 minutes view  here.

Domestic violence and Queensland COVID19 tenancy laws video 8.30 minutes view here.

Platinum PME and Platinum non PME member offices. COVID19 resources at member online video 3 minutes view here.

August Real Estate Excellence member update podcast 2.30 listen here.  Valued members the latest member update is now available to download at Member Online and will be emailed to you Thursday 6th August.

Thank you.