Gatton renters safe thanks to PM’s eviction freeze: Agents
RENTERS who have lost their jobs have already started contacting their agents, a Lockyer Valley real estate agent has confirmed.
It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced renters facing financial distress would be thrown a lifeline.
“States and territories will be moving to put a moratorium on evictions of persons as a result of financial distress if they are unable to meet their commitments,” Mr Morrison said in a press conference on Sunday afternoon.
“So there will be a moratorium on evictions for the next six months under those rental arrangements.”
Renters struggling to pay their weekly rent have been guaranteed their home won’t be taken away from them – at least until after October.
Gatton Real Estate business manager Allison Graham said tenants had already expressed concerns about making rent after losing their incomes due to the virus.
“We have had some calls already last week from our tenants saying they had lost their jobs,” Ms Graham said.
“And our property managers had been fantastic in negotiating outcomes for both the landlord and the tenant.”
She said tenants may be able to negotiate a rent reduction, a month of free rent or a period of time to pay back rent.
“It’s such an unprecedented situation – we are all in this together,” she said.
“We’re working around it case by case.”
She said the best thing a renter in financial strife could do was be upfront about it.
“If you’re affected because of employment, or you’re caring for someone and can’t go to your job – any direct loss of income – contact us and we will help you work something out,” she said.
“We’re not going to breach them and it won’t be on their tenancy record.”
The government has not yet outlined exactly how its protection for renters will work, leaving renters, landlords and real estate agencies questioning what it means for them.
In Queensland, when a tenant falls behind in rent, they are issued a notice to remedy the breach of contract.
If they don’t remedy the breach within seven days, the real estate can ask the tenant to leave.
The moratorium on evictions means tenants Australia-wide cannot be evicted if they can’t make rent, due to coronavirus.