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REIQ survey finds only 6% of renters qualified as “COVID-19 impacted”

A recent survey conducted by REIQ shows how Queensland propety managers have gone above and beyond when it comes to rent negotiations, often acting outside the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020.

A survey of over 1200 REIQ property management agencies revealed that only 6.05 per cent of rental tenants in the residential sphere qualified as “COVID-19 impacted” under the aforementioned regulations.

To qualify a tenant needs to have “suffered a loss of income of 25 per cent or more, or the rent payable is 30 per cent or more of a person’s income.”

This represents approximately 3,950 renters from an approximate 577,000 residential tenancies.

“This member survey aimed to identify a whole-of-industry snapshot in regards to the important role and to what scale our sector played in negotiating temporary reduced rents on behalf of more than 14,000 rental tenants with their landlords,” explains REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorell

“Real estate professionals manage close to 600,000 Queensland households through property management services.

“The demand for more effective recognition of our industry during any future crisis of this nature is now more apparent, with property managers overseeing more than a double caseload of temporary rent reduction requests from tenants suddenly faced with the inability to fulfil their rent obligations.”

Despite such low figures, property managers “proactively negotiated an additional 14 per cent of temporary rent reduction requests beyond the COVID-19 Emergency Response Regulation, representing over 10,800 residential tenancies.”

“These figures represent over double the amount of qualified lease renegotiations recognised as COVID-19 impacted.

“By the time the Prime Minister’s proposed protective measures for residential tenancies via a six-month moratorium on evictions reached the Palaszczuk Government, a highly-coordinated industry campaign for more fair and balanced protections for both tenants and landlords ensued,” Ms Mercorella said.

“However, the REIQ recognised that many rental tenants and landlords simply couldn’t wait. Large scale job losses were already in motion, with the entertainment, events, food and beverage, and tourism industries virtually grinding to a halt overnight.

“As a result, we were quick to work proactively with Property Managers across our member agencies to achieve an immediate framework of resources for tenants and property owners in significant financial distress to come together to negotiate temporary rent reductions in order reach an amicable outcome for both parties.

“The role our industry’s Property Managers have played throughout this pandemic is truly exemplary.”

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