Last Thursday, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and the Minister for Housing & Public Works, Mick de Brenni announced their solution for Queensland in relation to the federal announcement that tenants will benefit from a moratorium and rent deferral.
The proposed Special COVID-19 Protections for Residential Tenants and Owners (“Renter Protection Package”) includes:
- The ability for tenants to permanently waive rent, without an option to defer
- No requirement to substantiate to the landlord that a loss in income has indeed occurred
- An automatic right for the tenant to extend a lease for an additional 6 months (with the reduced or no rent, creating an effective 12 months moratorium on evictions)
- The ability for a tenant to break the lease with one week’s notice
- The ability for a tenant to not let tradespeople and the real estate agent onto the premises to keep it in good repair (and even decline virtual inspections).
The REIQ is concerned that mortgage payment deferrals are not readily available and that landlord insurance will not protect landlords under the circumstances. You can read a redacted version of their letter to the Premier here.
Queensland Parliament will be sitting next on Wednesday, 22 April 2020 when it is expected to pass the Renter Protection Package.
SCA (Qld) shares the REIQ’s concerns and believes that quick action is required to help construct a more equal assistance package. We call on members to support the REIQ campaign to effect change by:
- Watching the summary of the proposed changes and liking the video to send a message to the Premier.
- Sending a letter to the Premier to alert her to the imbalance of the package. A template letter can be found here and here: https://www.reiq.com/everyonematters/.
To be clear, SCA (Qld) agrees with the intent of the package and supports the need to aid both owner and tenants through these troubled times, but we believe that this package is far too broad and imbalanced to result in the desired outcomes. The REIQ have put forward sensible proposals for a fairer and more balanced framework and we believe they represent the best chance of creating equitable protections for both owners and renters.
Take this opportunity to be heard and support our sector colleagues. We urge you to send your demands for a more reasonable protections package to the Premier.
This information was first published by Strata Community Association QLD on 16 April 2020