11 Comments

  1. stefy
    April 9, 2020 @ 12:32 pm

    I have a good tenant who is retired. He has always paid rent on time. I expect that to continue especially since he will get the covid cash splash.
    My question is, if he stopped paying rent, could I at the next lease renewal, say I will not renew. I don’t care if I’m losing money, I would rather have the place empty than with a rent free tenant. Surely that is not evicting him, that is my legal right. I am also of the opinion that his record in this case would make it extremely hard for him to find another tenancy.
    Am I right. Is not renewing a lease not an eviction?

    Reply

    • Giovanni
      April 10, 2020 @ 8:52 am

      You say that is a good tenant that always rent on time. Why you are thinking if the tenant stop pay rents you won’t renew the lease renewal?
      Who should help a good tenant and not evict him.

      Reply

  2. Margo Miller
    April 9, 2020 @ 1:01 pm

    Hello.
    Appreciate when tenants have no money.

    But what about tenants who need to be evicted for other reasons. E.g. my tenant dismantled the wired in smoke alarm and had an ashtray full of cigarette butts inside. Plus many other violations
    His lease is not being renewed so I want to evict him if does not leave by the deadline.

    What about people on government handouts who have income unchanged? The criteria for non-eviction should be clear and reasonable. Not a blanket statement,

    Reply

    • Anna
      April 27, 2020 @ 9:38 am

      Government handouts? Shame on you, Margot Miller.

      Reply

  3. D BUell
    April 9, 2020 @ 1:21 pm

    As a landlord who has lost his job, how exactly am I supposed to find Rates, Land Tax, House Insurance, Water and Sewerage Bills, and Mortage repayments if I dont have any rent?

    Just as many landlords are out of work as Tenants.

    Also in the instance a tenant is collecting/will collect welfare payments, benefits will kick in , often including rent assistance.

    My agent has had a massive amount of tenants saying they cant pay rent, including those who never worked in the first place, and many more who clearly are eligible for job keeper/seeker.

    Opportunist tenants are out there as well as the genuine.

    I would also like to query, if the Tenant does not pay rent, is the rent written off by Mr Morrison, who according to the lease, does it become an outstanding debt to the Landlord?

    Thank you

    Reply

  4. Daniel De Vere
    April 9, 2020 @ 5:50 pm

    Is there anything in the “no-evictions” ruling that would prevent someone from being evicted for reasons other than non-payment of the rent?

    Reply

  5. Andrew Watson
    April 10, 2020 @ 1:54 pm

    I own one rental property that I manage myself. Here is a copy of the email I sent to our tenants:

    Hi xxx and yyy

    Please stop paying rent. This will allow you to build up a buffer of cash in case you stop receiving a salary. We would expect the deferred rent to be repaid when your salary starts again.

    If you stop receiving a salary the rent would stop and it would not have to be repaid.

    Rent would resume when you start receiving a salary again.

    Please contact me if you have any questions about this proposal.

    Their reply was:

    Hi zzz

    Thanks for that very generous offer. I would hope my salary is secure but I suppose we never know what could happen. I will set up a separate account and lodge the $nnn a week into that so it’s there to transfer to you when we get over this virus. Does this sound good to you ?

    The next day the rent payment arrived because the tenants hadn’t managed to cancel it in time. I returned the money to them.

    I hadn’t thought about it but when I told a friend about what I had done she said it was very generous but also very smart because it meant that in a time of falling rents due to my offer they were unlikely to jump ship.

    Reply

  6. Vikki Gamble
    April 14, 2020 @ 3:11 pm

    Get off your soapbox, please.

    It’s easy for you to say to us “rich” landlords to forgo our rent. However, as a retiree landlord who is 100% dependent on a small rental income from a property in Eagleby with a granny flat at the back, it’s easier said than done. Without this income, I have no money to pay my bills. I still have to pay insurance ($2000 per year), very expensive council rates ($5200 per year), interest on loans ($12,000 per year – even if the banks forego this for six months, it will just add to my debt) and, on average – $2000-$3000 worth of general repairs per year.

    As it stands, by the time I remove all my expenses, I am just under $200 a week in the black and that all goes on my personal bills to maintain my own home which has its own mortgage. I just make enough to get by. Without rental income, I will struggle and the government tends to overlook us, self-funded retirees. Where’s our handout in these circumstances?

    Before Covid-19 took people’s jobs away, I was dealing with a tenant who was consistently getting behind on his rent. We had issued a threaten to evict notice unless he got his rent up to date but now we can’t evict him and he can get behind as much as he wants – even though his income is not being affected by Covid-19 and he knows I can’t evict him now. It’s wrong.

    What about tenants who are destroying properties and letting them fall to wrack and ruin? Should they be allowed to continue their rampage for the next six months knowing they are safe from being evicted? There need to be better guidelines on this blanket “no eviction” policy. You can’t just say no evictions for everyone regardless of their circumstances. It’s a flawed policy.

    I get that there may be unscrupulous agents bullying tenants affected by the crisis into paying their rent but please don’t lump us retirees and, for that matter, reputable property managers who depend on rental incomes, in the same boat.

    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Damon
      April 18, 2020 @ 12:09 pm

      Hi Vicky,

      You ask Neil to get off his soapbox but then on you get. I feel that’s perhaps asking to have one’s cake and eat it too. I’m grateful for Neil’s thoughts, and for your response.

      To the substance of your comment, if your income is largely from rent, and the rental income disappears, then my understanding is you are entitled to financial support. Given your other comments outlining your circumstances it sounds like this may be a Seniors Pension. There is a need for the process for obtaining such benefits to be simplified (I know this having parents for whom it has taken many months for them just to receive their Seniors Health Care Card, with many more to follow for the Pension: it’s ridiculous!)

      I know you won’t relish having to apply to Centrelink in these circumstances; let me assure you, nobody does. But being all in this together means that landlords sometimes will need to forgo the benefits of their investment so that tenants don’t worry themselves sick — or worse. Otherwise, “we’re all in this together” is just something people say but don’t really mean (another word for that is bullsh*t).

      Like you by the sounds, I also have a positively geared property where the rental income barely pays the mortgage and associated costs. My tenant was also behind on her rent before this. When my tenant lost her income due to COVID-19 I checked with my bank and they were offering a 3 month stay on repayments, no questions asked (with a further 3 months after review). In light of that, I told my tenant to stop paying rent. These circumstances are extraordinary, and the times call for us to pull together and not cling onto what we see as fair or unfair.

      This whole pandemic is cruel and unfair for so many.

      Unforeseen hardship for a rent-funded retiree when tenants can’t pay rent is real, just as it is for employment-funded citizens who lose their income from employment. If you’ve lost your rental income due to COVID-19 I would encourage you to avail yourself of the support banks and governments are offering. It’s there for all of us (as we are all in this together).

      Reply

  7. Malcolm
    April 15, 2020 @ 1:06 pm

    Maybe true in some instances but I just had a tenant leave after the agent has spent months helping them budget to meet the rental. With promises to put in a lump sum and then clean the property nothing happened.
    Now I have hundreds owing on unpaid water usage; rent owing, again in the hundreds and a vacant property. My usual costs just don’t disappear !

    I agree with a lot of your thoughts but in this instance it seems that Landlords are all bundled into one basket and should not have any rights.

    I think that we need to remember that we are accommodation providers and as such have mutual rights too !

    Reply

  8. Shona Tocock
    April 26, 2020 @ 9:49 am

    Do you leave a hotel without paying the bill

    Reply

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