Welcome to the Rent Report for May 2020
In this brief update to you, I’m wanting to bring you up to speed upon several relevant matters both here at Explore & within our Cairns marketplace. Included within this rent report…
- Firstly, to give you a quick insight into our current rental market conditions and how is market is fairing amidst Covid-19.
- Additionally, an insight into our sales market.
- An update upon the commencement of our paused routine inspections
- Our new software program and a new look statement for you
- Finally, I’m wanting to answer some common frequently asked tenancy related questions from landlords concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 tenancy legislation changes.
We are still renting properties in Cairns, demand for homes and apartments particularly upon the city fringe and the outer suburbs is still strong. I mentioned in a previous report that I felt we were well placed to deal with this pandemic and so far, the impact we believe has been minimal.
Our vacancy rates have risen, currently sitting at 2.5% up from 1.5% prior to COVID. Largely due the increase as a result of the furnished apartment market and the oversupply of the hundreds of furnished apartments which were previously within the air bnb space.
The over supply and minimal demand for these types of properties, is proving to be a challenge in securing tenants quickly for them.
We are still selling properties; our sales numbers are better than I anticipated they may be when we first considered the impact COVID would have. Buyer enquiry is fair; however, the enquiry is certainly isolated to those properties that are well presented and priced to meet the market.
There are active buyers and there are those just sitting on the bench waiting to see what happens. I’m sure though that as news reports continue to get more positive and restrictions continue to be lifted, those buyers will find themselves on the field looking to purchase quickly.
We have had to pause our scheduled routine inspections over the past several weeks however with restrictions being lifted and with clear guidelines now allowing routine inspections. Our office has made the decision to commence those again. The inspections will be completed by your property manager in person at the property however if the tenant informs our office that they are unwell and they express concern relative to COVID-19 we may have to opt for a virtual inspection instead. There will be a gap in the time frame from when the previous inspection was completed, this is obviously beyond our control. If you have concerns over the additional time between inspections, please raise those concerns with your property manager and we will work with you to complete an inspection again as soon possible.
We have started using new Property Management Cloud based software. We had intention on moving to this software this year however COVID forced our hand to bring it on a little earlier than it expected. When you receive your monthly financial statement this Friday, you will notice that it has a different look and although that might take a little getting used to, the statement still details all the same required financial information important for you and your investment property. We are excited to introduce you to the landlord portal and will detail you with more information on how to access this over the coming weeks. The portal will give you a real time snapshot into the management of your property.
I’m going to deliver to you over the course of a few video’s the changes relevant to our rental laws as a result of COVID-19 but I thought I would start today by answering two of the most common asked questions we’ve had from our landlords.
- Can a tenant be issued a Notice to Leave during the six-month eviction moratorium?
Yes, a Notice To Leave can be issued. The moratorium only applies to those tenants who have been genuinely been affected by financial hardship. Landlords can still move into or sell their investment property as well as issue a Notice to Leave for non-affected Covid-19 tenants who are in arrears in addition to normal end of lease terminations.
- Do all landlords have to extend a tenant’s lease until the end of September 2020?
There is an automatic roll over of tenancy agreements which expire between now and the 29th September only if the tenant within the property has been directly affected financially by COVID -19 therefore landlords can still end tenancy agreements as they have so long as the tenant is not affected by financial hardship. There are exceptions being that if you wish to sell or sold the property or you or a family member wish to move in.
The laws are still new, they can be interpreted differently however in the coming weeks we will have a greater understanding of them and the new processes which we will need to adopt. I’ll endeavour to keep our landlords updated upon these changes and they affect them.
Please don’t hesitate in reaching out directly if you have any specific questions.
Kyle from Explore Property Cairns. Thank you.