The Queensland government is in the processes of finalising a set of guidelines for property owners and tenants in response to the announced moratorium on evictions. These Guidelines have been developed after consultation with industry stake holders to provide a ‘fair middle ground’ between property owners and tenants.
The Government announced that the Guidelines will support property owners and tenants on a range of issues including the provision of free and impartial conciliation from the Residential Tenancies Authority further support is needed to reach an agreement. Although the Guidelines have yet to be released in full, the Government has released a summary of the Guidelines. This includes: –
- Threshold criteria that is required to be met before the application of the COVID- 19 response measures. This requires either:-
- A tenant to have a 25% reduction in their income, or
- Where rent exceeds 30% of the tenant’s income.
- Tenants can be asked to provide the same proof of financial position to their property managers as they are when applying for a rental property.
- Clear guidance on access for the sale of property, virtual rental inspections and access for essential repairs and maintenance.
- A 75% income loss threshold before a tenant can end a tenancy with 7-day cap on break lease fees.
- Limiting any extension on the term of a tenancy agreement during the COVID-19 period to September 30, 2020 unless agreed otherwise by the owner and tenant, or there is an appropriate ground to end the tenancy.
The Government has also announced that key stakeholders will form a new COVID-19 Housing Security Sub-Committee that will oversee the implementation of the response measures.
If you are property owner or a tenant and need any guidance or advice through this difficult time, please contact our office to make an appointment with one of our experienced solicitors.