At P Di Natale, our priority is supporting our clients and the community throughout this challenging time.
In order to help you as a Landlord understand the current state of play and make informed decisions in relation to your properties under management, we have put together a series of frequently asked questions for your reference.
How can I contact my Property Manager or the Office?
The office number is still operating as normal and can direct your call, otherwise you can still contact your Property Manager at any time by calling their mobile number, or via email.
Does this situation change any of my rights as a Landlord?
Despite the changing landscape, your rights as a Landlord remain the same. Tenants and Landlords must continue to abide by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. There are measures that the State and Federal Governments may put in place that may relate to the tenancy. We will update this page as often as possible when any new arrangements have been made. The following website will have the most up to date information about any tenancy changes during this time; CAV - Coronavirus and Tenants Rights
Will routine inspections be taking place?
Where possible we are still conducting routine inspections using an online process via Zoom. Your Property Manager can outline this process should you have any queries.
We have currently postponed any face to face routine inspections that were due to take place. When social distancing measures have eased these routine inspections will be re-booked.
What is the process for rental inspections to attract a new tenant?
Traditional open for inspections are no longer going ahead and will now be run privately with individual prospective tenants to comply with Government regulations. Anyone inspecting the property must obey the social distancing rules (including keeping at least 1.5m distance from another person). P Di Natale has hygiene protocols in place to mitigate any risk of the virus being spread and will advise attendees to avoid entering the property if they have:
- Tested positive to, or have symptoms associated with Covid19
- Recently been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid19
- Recently been overseas or agreed to any self isolation conditions
We also advise all attendees to clean their hands thoroughly before attending, to maintain healthy social distancing from others (at least 1.5m from others), keeping appointment times to a minimum and to avoid touching surfaces and handles where possible.
We have also implemented Virtual Tour videos for most properties (where possible) and uploaded the videos to the listing which enables prospective Tenants to view the property virtually and don't need to put themselves at risk to attend a private inspection.
Should you wish for further information about how we can lease your property in the current climate please don’t hesitate to call your Property Manager or our office.
What happens if maintenance needs to be undertaken at my property?
Should any maintenance be required, your Property Manager can organise for the relevant trades person to attend your investment property. There are currently no restrictions on tradespeople entering properties, except for the number of tradespeople allowed in the same space at any one time in line with social distancing guidelines. We ask that all our trades contacts abide by our Covid19 hygiene protocols to ensure the safety of your Tenant/s. We do caution that there may be a delay in getting trades to attend works, and in such instances urgent repairs will be given priority.
Can I be protected in the event my Tenant defaults on payments?
In most instances, a valid landlord's insurance policy will provide you with cover if the Tenant defaults on their rent. These claims require the tenancy to come to an end before you can make a claim, and insurers won’t pay rent whilst the tenancy is still continuing.
Any agreement that you reach with your Tenant to reduce or defer rent won’t be claimable.
We suggest reviewing your Insurer's website and PDS for more information. Our insurance partners, EBM RentCover, and Honans have a handy set of FAQ's which might also prove useful. Click on these links for further details: EBM RentCover Honans
What happens if my Tenant needs to vacate the property due to financial hardship?
If your Tenant needs to vacate the property due to loss of employment or income your Property Manager will speak with you in the first instance to see if an agreement can be made to end the lease earlier than the stated end date on the fixed term lease.
What happens if my Tenant cannot pay rent as a result of financial distress?
Whilst Tenants and Landlords still need to abide by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (the Act), the Government is encouraging Landlords and Agents to be compassionate and show goodwill during this pandemic.
The Federal Government announced that there should be a suspension on rental evictions for people who are facing financial distress as a result of Covid19. This is yet to be ratified by the State Government but is expected soon.
This provides a measure of security for those who have been adversely affected and are concerned about the implications of being able to keep residing in their rental home.
If your Tenant is experiencing financial hardship as a result of the Covid19, we have advised that they need to contact us as soon as possible. In the first instance they are guided to explore the available options in the various Government assistance packages. If these options are not enough, they may complete a Financial Hardship Application form, which provides specific details about their situation and the request to either reduce, or defer their rental payments.
What is the Rental Relief Package and how does it work?
The Victorian Government has approved a rent relief package that provides funding for Tenants who are under financial duress due to Covid19 impacting their financial situation.
This is a one-off grant specifically for Tenants to ensure that they can maintain safe, secure and stable accommodation and is paid directly to the Tenant’s agent, lessor or the Landlord to contribute to the Tenant’s rental payments during this time of financial hardship. This grant will be administered to eligible Tenants who have negotiated a rental reduction with their Landlord or Real Estate Agent and have lodged that agreement with CAV.
Where can I find more information?
As the information being provided by the Victorian Government is updated regularly, further information can be found below:
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office or your Property Manager directly.
Any advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Information in this article is correct as of the date of publication and is subject to change.