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On Friday 24th April 2020, the new COVID-19 Tenancy Laws were launched.
For all the details, view the RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES PRACTICE GUIDE.
The Queensland Government has also created a website THE HUB to provide information for owners, tenants and agents.
You can also visit the RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority) for the latest information.
Frequently Asked Questions from Owners and Tenants
Covid 19 (11)
In short, no.
Managing rental properties is considered an essential service, as we are facilitating shelter for our tenant population. Even during the height of the restrictions in 2020, our office remained open with a reduced staff and we will continue to remain open.
To date, all our staff are well and healthy and able to perform their duties.
Our Property Managers are utilising online systems to successfully perform most of their duties remotely. We have activated a phone diversion, so their contact details remain the same. In most cases, we encourage email as the best form of communication.
To ensure continuity of service and promote a healthy work-life balance for our staff, we have asked them to maintain regular work hours (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm).
Strict hygiene protocols have been set up to protect our staff and visitors. Visitors must remain at reception and will not be permitted into our meeting rooms or back of office. This includes contractors. If there are too many people at reception to maintain the social distancing rules, we will ask visitors to remain outside until it is safe to enter.
Please do not touch anything in the office including the reception counter. If you need to sign something, we ask you to supply your own pen.
Those who wish to drop off keys or documentation are encouraged to use our after-hours drop boxes outside the offices.
North Lakes – Letter box on the footpath next to the coffee shop
Springfield – Drop box attached to the wall to the right of the door. Note that access to our Springfield office is by appointment only.
It is important for us to continue ‘business as usual’ in finding and placing new tenants into rental properties.
Utilising technology and careful safety protocols, we have managed to limit face-to-face contact while continuing to provide a high level of service to owners and tenants.
We accept applications prior to viewing the property to limit the numbers of people visiting the property. Our in-house online application form ezyAPP makes applying for a property quick and effortless – no need to print, and no need for face-to-face meetings or exchange of paperwork. If the prospect is happy to take the property without viewing it at all, we can accommodate an early approval.
At the property viewing, we strictly adhere to social distancing and hygiene protocols such as wearing face-masks and using hand sanitiser, and ask visitors to avoid touching surfaces.
Yes, that’s correct. Our policy has always been to not hold ‘Open Homes’ at our properties. All our inspections are by appointment only and these will continue as per the Government Guidelines.
Because we place a high importance on personal service in welcoming a new tenant, we needed to find alternate ways to keep the personal touch while maintaining social distancing.
Fortunately, last year we introduced electronic signing of leases, and tenants love the convenience of being able to sign their lease to secure their property within 24 hours of being approved.
Secondly, we have replaced our face-to-face ‘Tenant Welcome Appointment’ with a ‘Tenant Welcome Call’, where the property manager takes them through the documentation, introduces our service, and gives tips on how to ensure a smooth enjoyable tenancy.
On the commencement of the lease, the tenant makes their one and only visit to our office, where they spend a maximum of 10 minutes signing for the keys and Entry Condition Report and collecting their Welcome Pack.
Since the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, inspections have been cancelled at times to comply with government-enforced restrictions.
As we move towards living with the virus in the community, we need to continue inspecting properties to ensure we fulfil our responsibilities to our owner and tenant clients.
Our team have been trained in Covid-Safe practices to ensure minimum risk of spreading the virus. This includes wearing masks and gloves while at the property, and hand-sanitising before and after visiting every property.
We will not cancel or reschedule inspections unless a member of the household is sick with the virus, or under government-imposed quarantine. Requests to cancel need to be made via email with details of the period of quarantine so that we can re-schedule the inspection as soon as possible.
Our contractors have their own protocols in place to minimise risk when visiting tenanted properties, so maintenance will be attended to as per normal times.
Maintenance is actioned through our online Console Tenant App which allows tenants to take photos of the issue. The contractor may be able to determine the problem without visiting first, reducing the number of visits required.
The only time a tenant will be able to deny access to a tradesperson is if a member of the household is sick with the virus or under government-directed quarantine.
Now more than ever, it is vital to maintain stable, secure and safe tenancies, which is achieved by renewing fixed-term leases. Tenants are encouraged to sign their lease renewals several weeks prior to the end of the lease.
Fortunately, last year we introduced electronic signing of leases, so lease renewals are processed efficiently and safely without the need for face-to-face meetings or exchange of paperwork.
Tenants are finding this process so easy, turnaround times for leases has been reduced to just a few days.
Queensland smoke alarm laws require a property owner to have smoke alarms checked within 30 days of the start of a new lease.
The COVID-19 Tenancy Laws clearly state that all tenants are required to allow access for urgent repairs, and this includes smoke alarm compliance checks. The exceptions are those households that have occupants who are sick with the virus or undergoing state-imposed quarantine directions.
If a tenant identifies in the above categories and denies entry, we must postpone the compliance visit until it is safe to enter the property. In the meantime, we advise the tenants that the responsibility for testing the smoke alarms is passed onto them.
To limit face-to-face contact with our staff, we are asking tenants to drop off their keys in our after-hours drop boxes rather than bring them in personally. North Lakes Office – In the Letterbox on the footpath, next to the coffee shop; Springfield Office – In the Drop Box on the wall to the right of the front door.
We encourage the tenants to email the documentation including the Exit Condition Report directly to the Property Manger.
The vacate procedure remains the same, as our property managers perform their vacate inspections without the tenant present.
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