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The Property Couch Blog post by The Property Couch

Podcast Update: Landlord vs Tenants

NOTE: This Facebook LIVE was recorded at 4pm on Thursday, 2nd April 2020. It is an update released right after Episode 278 of our podcast, Coronavirus: Landlord vs Tenants. You can listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify or TPC’s Website.


Bryce:   Hi there folks. Bryce Holdaway here and he is Ben Kingsley. We are the hosts of The Property Couch. And we thought we would do a very quick Facebook LIVE don’t we Ben?

Ben:     Hot off the press Bryce.

Bryce:   Observing social distancing here including the figurines.

Ben:     Yes we are.

Bryce:   We actually went this morning and did our recording for The Property Couch that went live today at three o’clock AEDT on Landlords vs Tenants. However, there were a couple of updates that we thought would be really important to do based on the fact that it’s really relevant to what our discussion was.

Ben:     Very, very relevant.

Bryce:   Yes, we have new information. So a couple of things that we want to update you on sort of as a, what would you call it as a footnote to that episode?

Ben:     Good idea.

Bryce:   So why don’t you kick it off?

Ben:     Well, the big news is out of Queensland. Queensland leading the way. Treasurer Jackie Trad has announced an emergency rental assistance payments of up to $500 per week for up to four weeks. So now, she’s stressing that it is an emergency. That’s almost like a bridge, right? Because effectively a lot of the job seeker payments for those people that have lost their jobs. That’s right, those people that have lost their jobs, won’t kick in until the 27th of April. And it’s also on the back of what the Prime Minister announced, which was the end of the 29th of March, that there’s going to be a moratorium in terms of not being able to evict tenants.

We love that idea, but we’re also getting a little bit more clarity around the circumstances, right? So I’m just going to spend a moment in terms of talking about this. It is for emergency assistance only. For those people that qualify, they can call the residential tenancies authority in Queensland on 1800-497-161. Now she also acknowledged that the state government will be putting into law the eviction moratorium. And that will be backdated until the 29th of March and again, genuinely impacted people. It’s really important to understand. Based on job losses from the Coronavirus.

But here’s another message which is new information to those people watching on Facebook LIVE but also to our community. For the tenants that do things that would ordinarily see them evicted, such as significant damage to the property or the owners themselves needing to move back into the property because of their own financial distress, then effectively it’s not a blanket prohibition.

So in other words, it’s effectively saying do not do this.

I think that’s really important to understand that that really is an emergency package. These are vouchers that they’re going to issue via our, the residential tenancy authority. And I think it’s also important that that sends a signal potentially to other states and territories, that there are people out there that are a minority who need this money now. But we also have other clarity around, you know, what they’re saying around tenants paying their rent because there is still misinformation out there that people think that they don’t have to pay rent. That’s not true.

Bryce:   Well you’re right Ben because we talked about the fact that we don’t want it to be saying… You just mentioned then that if someone does something that causes them to be evicted, they could still be evicted with, with one exception. And that’s someone who has a loss of income through COVID-19. So that’s an important clarifying point.

And we went to some lengths on the podcast to talk about the fact that this isn’t a moratorium on paying rent. It’s a merotorium on making sure that people who are vulnerable aren’t kicked out. So in Property Observer, they had an article that came out today and they were quoting the housing minister, Michael Sukkah. He’s clarified what the six-month moratorium on evictions actually means. So the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas was interviewing and asked a very simple question, “If people can stop paying rent if there’s a moratorium?”

And this is the response.

“The short answer to your question is, of course not. There is a moratorium on eviction, but there’s not a moratorium on the requirement to pay rents.”

And that’s an important point. There is a moratorium on evictions, but there is not a moratorium on the requirement to pay rents. The housing minister said it’s useful to separate commercial and residential. He goes through and backs up a couple of things that the Prime Minister has been saying but this is what Mr Sukkah said, “It’s not in any landlord’s interest to lose a great tenant who may be going through short term difficulty.”

So that’s essentially everyone working together.

“We’re seeing a lot of landlords and tenants working closely together. But we need to put in some minimum standards and that’s what I’m confident the national cabinet will do.” So this clarification from the housing minister was welcomed by the Real Estate Institute of Australia where president Adrian Kelly said this, “A moratorium evictions doesn’t mean rent is not payable. If circumstances mean that payment in full is not possible it is a holding off from payments, not a cancellation. It is for people who cannot pay at this time not for those that can. If you can pay your rent now, you pay it. If you can’t pay your rent now, you have been given grace for six months, but will have to catch up when you are able to pay it again.”

Ben:     So there it is. So Queensland have led the way here. They’re offering these grants through the Residential Tenancies Authority, which is what it’s called up there in Queensland. So if that applies to people that you may know, it’s important to understand that.

But in regards to their vouchers, we don’t know the detail in terms of how they’re going to be served to the property manager. We don’t want them obviously to be used for other purposes. I suspect there will be a voucher that they give to the property manager. The property manager will then adjust that in the software. And that’s how it would go because we don’t want it to be seen used for other reasons or other purposes, but good on Queensland Government for taking the initial step to get people over the line until those Job Seeker Payment, start to kick in on the 27th of April.

Bryce:   Now folks, Ben and I will provide some resources to help people through this COVID-19 health challenge that we’re facing. And the first port of call is to make sure that your own personal circumstances are lean and mean Ben so that you can actually navigate yourself through this crisis. So we are making available, if you go to the website that you’ll see just here shortly, www.MakeMoneySimpleAgain.com.au, we’ve actually gonna give a copy of our book, which is essentially a manual on how to build a system that allows you to manage your money within 10 minutes a month. And folks, it is so incredibly simple that it’s got one offset account, one credit card, and got one debit card. That is it. Plus your passive loan account.

You’ll actually see how that works when we go through all of those seven steps that you need to go through to set that up. We’re actually making that available to you for free. If you go to www.MakeMoneySimpleAgain.com.au, and choose the book, it will actually show you that there’s a platform that you can administer all of what we’re talking about. So you don’t have to have all those spreadsheets running around and actually get it done very, very simply for you. The platform is free. Absolutely free. So you can check it out.

Ben:     It’s a no BS money system that actually works to help you trap your surplus, organize your money and thrive. Real simple. And that’s the instruction manual to get it done. So please….

This is the best time to organize your money so you never have situations where unfortunately, like some of these people who have emergency situations cause they had no savings, they have no other financial support.

We don’t want to see that for anyone in Australia. So please check it out. And it would be helpful for you.

Bryce:   That’s right Ben. Just go to www.MakeMoneySimpleAgain.com.au, and folks check out each and every week, Ben and I getting up to date on all of the latest events as they come to us on property, finance, and money management. That comes out every Thursday at three o’clock. The latest episode is available and out now, so you should check that out at www.ThePropertyCouch.com.au.

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