Queensland leads way on emergency tenancy legislation

REIWA notesthat Queensland have led the way and will be removing further restrictions fromits emergency residential tenancy legislation and urges the McGowan Governmentto do the same.

REIWA PresidentDamian Collins said the QLD Governments handling of the COVID-19 legislationshould be commended.

The QLDGovernment listened to all stakeholders, formed an advisory group andultimately introduced fair legislation that provided protection to those ingenuine hardship as a result of COVID-19, Mr Collins said.

This further easingis a sign that a balanced approached worked and their economy and rental markethas made it through the worst of the pandemic.

The WAGovernment should learn from the success of the QLD Government and amend the ResidentialTenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020, so that it only applies to those inongoing hardship.

WAseconomy is in a better positions than QLD, however their government haveassessed the market and taken a more balanced approach in managing theexpectations of landlords and tenants, which includes ending the ban on terminatingtenancies on 30 September 2020, Mr Collins said.

Since theextension in WA was announced on the 10 September, the REIWA InformationService team has been inundated with calls from landlords and tenants who havebeen negatively impacted by the government’s decision to extend the moratorium onall residential tenancies to the 28 March 2021 and are looking for advice fromthe Institute.

It is clearfrom the sheer number of calls to REIWAs Information Service and the recentmedia attention, that unfortunately there is a significant number of WestAustralians unnecessarily disadvantaged as a result of the blanket decision toextend the legislation.

Case study one

Bruce and Viven recently soldtheir home in Denmark, with the intention of moving into their rental propertylocated in Perth once settlement occurs.

The tenants lease was due to expire on the11 September 2020, however due to the moratorium, both parties agreed to avacate date of 10 October 2020 to allow the tenant extra time to find suitableaccommodation.

Since the extension, the tenant has decidednot to vacate despite having a full-time job. OnceBruce and Vivens settlement take place on their Denmark property, they willhave nowhere to live.

Case study two

Merv owns two rental propertiescurrently under the NRAS scheme, both with long-term tenants. NRAS is a schemethat provides subsidised rent for tenants, by topping up the rent to marketvalue. However, Merv has received notification that the government subsidy willnot continue after September which will see his weekly income drop by $300.

The tenants in each of the units want to stayon, despite the subsidy coming to an end, and they all agreed to a reasonablerent amount, that was still below market value, but more than the tenant iscurrently paying.

Due to the extension of the emergency period,Merv cannot implement the reasonable rent increase, despite all parties beingin agreeance and this decision by the government will cost Merv $7,800 by 28March 2021.

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