New Laws For Tenants & Property Owners Affected By COVID-19

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New Laws For Tenants & Property Owners Affected By COVID-19

By : Mikaela Perrin
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the lives of residents of the Gold Coast and others living in Australia due to which the national government has made a host of changes. Among these changes, a major one related to the tenancy laws for lessees and property owners has come into effect to provide relief to everyone involved in a rental agreement for up to six months. Knowing about these alterations is necessary, especially if you are at the end of tenancy and have to think about moving or extending your stay at the current property. Here is a complete guide by experts in Gold Coast providing information on the new laws for tenants and property owners affected by COVID-19. In addition, find insights by the end of lease cleaning experts in Gold Coast for purging the property during the pandemic and what sanitation measures to take if relocation is necessary.

What are the Tenancy Law Changes for Tenants?

Keeping in mind the current scenario of difficulties being faced by lessees the National Cabinet has introduced a momentary freeze on evictions for six months which the Queensland Government has implemented. Thus, if you are a tenant that is significantly impacted by the pandemic, facing hardship due to it or both; you cannot be evicted. Here are the ways the outbreak of the pandemic may impact you.
  • You or someone in your household has contracted COVID-19
  • Your office or business is shut down due to public health directions
  • You have imposed self-isolation due to a scare or living with someone vulnerable
  • You are immunosuppressed and highly vulnerable
  • You cannot work or return home due to public health directions or travel restrictions
  • The rent you are paying is above 30% of your household’s income
  • Your income has dropped by 25% or more

What are the Tenancy Law Changes for Property Owners?

Besides considering the needs of the tenants in case the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacts them, property owners need to know that for tenants with fixed-term agreements that are experiencing hardship due to the outbreak should have their lease agreements extended to 30th September 2020 (date subject to change). The moving out date can be shifted if the tenant requests for a shorter term. Tenants who may be experiencing domestic or family violence can seek termination of the agreement and leave if necessary. Furthermore, property owners are presented with the following options.
  • The owners can move into their rented property if required, after serving the tenant with appropriate notice.
  • You can also arrange for a virtual tour of the property for review or inspection.

What are The Benefits Afforded to Tenants and Property Owners through the Law Changes?

The reforms announced by the national government and implementations are aimed at reducing challenges and conflicts faced by tenants and property owners across the Gold Coast. Some of the major benefits of these changes are mentioned as follows.
  • For property owners who are having difficulties because the pandemic impacts their incomes, relief may be available through land tax relief via Queensland Government, Commonwealth income support, etc. The impact may also make you eligible for asking momentary relief from mortgage repayments from your financial institutions.
  • For tenants, there is an option to contact their Federal Government for support. What’s more, tenants can seek a reduction in rent or exemptions from landlords after showing proof of hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ending a tenancy – What can you do as a Tenant or a Property Owner?

Tenants and property owners who are not impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic need to honour their lease agreements and follow all the procedures such as hiring end of lease cleaning experts in Gold Coast, inspecting the property, initiating a claim for bond refund, etc. However, for those who are approaching end of the tenancy but severely impacted by the pandemic, here is what they can do.
  • Tenants are encouraged to discuss their situation with their landlords and seek extensions and reliefs. Understandably, having such a conversation is difficult but necessary, and if your landlord understands, you can continue your tenancy.
  • In some cases, the tenant may need to end the agreement before the term is complete. In such scenarios he/she can cite the reason and provide proof to end the tenancy early/
  • Due to the pandemic, if a property owner decides to sell the real estate, he/she can do it after providing appropriate notice to the tenant.
  • In addition, the property owner, after providing enough evidence, can ask the tenant to move to a new property if they or their family members have to occupy the space after being impacted by COVID-19.

What Measures to Take When Moving Out During the Pandemic?

For tenants who are at the end of their tenancies and plan to move out their rented properties, taking precautions and fulfilling all the exit terms of their agreements is necessary. Here is a list of measures to take if you are moving.
  • Serve the necessary notice to your landlord and ensure they are kept on a loop of all the proceedings.
  • Reread your lease contract for terms and conditions to fulfil your responsibilities for moving out successfully
  • Most landlords have clauses for end of lease cleaning in Gold Coast. Please read the contract to know if you are required to hire end of cleaning experts in Gold Coast or can perform the purging yourself.
  • Making sure of this necessary because most landlords ask for the receipt or bill generated by your hired end of lease cleaning professionals in Gold Coast. This evidence is required for the landlord or the tenant to file for a claim of a full refund of the security deposit.
  • While hiring any professionals like removalists or end of lease cleaning professionals in Gold Coast, make sure they offer no-contact services and have adequate training to render their services during the pandemic.
  • In addition, don’t attempt to perform moving-related activities like packing, travelling, transporting, cleaning etc. without personal protective equipment (PPE). These items include masks, gloves, goggles, face shields, and overalls, among others.
  • Ensure the professionals or near/dear ones who come to your rented property for assistance wash their hands, wear PPE, and maintain distance avoid physical contact.
  • Since the coronavirus is spread through touch and respiratory droplets don’t let anyone exhibiting the symptoms enter the premises. You can your hired removalists and end of lease cleaning experts in Gold Coast for COVID-19 tests reposts and see the negative status as a proactive measure to avoid getting the disease.
  • Practice social distancing at all time and ensure to venture only when running errands or completing necessary tasks.

Wrapping Up

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the laws for tenancies have witnessed changes that are positive for the tenants as well as property owners. Therefore, whether you are a lessee or landlord at the end of a tenancy, knowing the information shared in this complete guide is necessary for making informed decisions. The insights by experts and end of lease cleaning professionals in Gold Coast will help you get through this challenging time, ensure your lease agreement is not breached, and moving-related problems can be managed smoothly.