Latest Real Estate Excellence Industry Update
Emailed to Real Estate Excellence free industry mailing list and or posted on social media
Read the Covid tenancy regulations 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18th September 2020 - Real Estate Excellence members - please note I have withdrawn the September Member Update emailed to you and posted on member online 1st and 3rd September given these developments.
1pm An update regarding the below video regarding the Covid tenancy regulations - the 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)
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.
(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.
(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.
- 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
11th September 2020
September 29, 2020 rent eviction moratorium – below are some key points (in part) emailed to Real Estate Excellence financial members on September 1 (with Part 2 emailed September 3) as part of the September member update service.
This email is being sent to our FREE mailing list in good faith and in the best interests of the industry. If you are not a member of Real Estate Excellence, please contact your preferred best practice support and advisor for more advice and information if required, and or the RTA.
If you are a member of Real Estate Excellence and have any questions regarding below, and or any other best practice support matter, please email us.
- The Covid19 regulations currently end 31 December 2020. Download the regulations here.
- A notice to leave without grounds cannot be given to a tenant who is or has been Covid19 affected as per the Covid19 laws (section 6) until 1 January 2021.
- A notice to leave for rent arrears cannot be issued to a Covid19 tenant as per definition until the laws expire, which is currently 31st December 2020. More information is included in the September part one member update, emailed September 1. Part two regarding inspections, entry and rent increases was emailed September 3. Download at Member Online latest member update folder, or email us to be resent the updates.
- Section 6 and 85 (2) of the Covid laws set out the definition of what is a Covid19 impacted tenancy, and what evidence can be requested from a tenant to prove they are impacted. The definition in section 6 states is or was impacted.
- A Form 16a should be lodged to the RTA when a tenant is in arrears, and is Covid19 impacted, and the agency on behalf of the lessor requires assistance for payment/s.
- If the Form 16a dispute resolution is not successful, agencies can lodge a non-urgent application tribunal under section 12 of the Covid19 laws to seek an order regarding the unpaid rent.
- Tenancies who are or were Covid19 impacted are required to have their tenancies extended until September 29, 2020. A notice to leave without grounds cannot be issued for Covid19 impacted tenancies until 1 January 2021.
- If a tenancy is not Covid19 impacted, usual laws apply for rent arrears and ending tenancies, such as issuing a notice to leave without grounds on or before end date of tenancy (but not to end earlier than end date of tenancy unless there is a mutual agreement to end the tenancy earlier).
- Provisions for entry, maintenance, domestic violence, and lessor ending the tenancy for owner occupation and or preparing the property for sale or sold, still apply until 31 December 2020. The notice period is 2 months written notice for both fixed term and periodic tenancies. The notice can be given during a fixed term tenancy and the lessor does not have to be, nor prove they are Covid impacted.
31st December 2020 - Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 emergency response Regulation 2020) ends.
Provisions such as rent arrears and the show cause notice only apply to Covid19 defined tenancies (section 6 Covid19 laws). If a tenant is not Covid19 affected, and or did not indicate they were, usual rent arrears laws apply (such as the giving of the Form 11 Notice to remedy breach on day 8 of arrears).
The so-called moratorium on evictions for Covid19 affected tenancies and rent arrears ends September 29, 2020. (refer to section 8 below). Although section 8 is in place, there is no provision in the Covid19 regulation for a notice to leave rent arrears to be given. This is due to section 11 (2) stating if a tenant is or thought to be Covid19 affected as per the definition in section 6, a notice to remedy cannot be issued. (usual rent arrear procedures apply for non Covid19 affected defined tenancies). This appears to be a possible fault and oversight of the regulations which commenced 24th April 2020.
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.
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
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.
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.