What Stage 4 restrictions mean for tenants and landlords

As of 11:59pm on Wednesday 5th of August real estate offices in Metropolitan Melbourne were asked to close their doors as part of an all-out effort to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities.

We want to assure you, that while this is by no means “business as usual” we have the technology, processes and procedures in place to allow our Property Managers to continue to provide you with the best service in the property management sector.

Our offices will all be providing contact phone numbers and emails – check out the office's page on this website or look at their Facebook pages. They are there to answer your questions, address your concerns and help wherever possible during this six week period of lockdown.

Rental Payments

We will continue to receipt all rental payments, chase up any arrears and keep in contact with tenants and landlords with regards to rental payments in the usual manner.

Tenants: As our office is closed we are unable to process your rental payments in person, so you will need to make your payments online. If you need help with this, please call your property manager for advice.

Landlords: All rental monies received will be paid to you in the usual manner as soon as we have cleared funds in our trust account.

VCAT Arrangements

VCAT are only hearing urgent matters, and all non-urgent matters are being adjourned. This is expected to cause significant delays both now and when outstanding applications are rescheduled. Where there is an urgent dispute or matter which needs to be dealt with by VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) the hearings and will be heard by telephone.

Urgent Repairs

Urgent Repairs may be required during the Stage 4 lockdown.

Tenants: Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, urgent repairs in a rental property are:

  • burst water service
  • blocked or broken toilet system
  • serious roof leak
  • gas leak
  • dangerous electrical fault
  • flooding or serious flood damage
  • serious storm or fire damage
  • failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by a landlord or agent for hot water, water, cooking, heating, or laundering
  • failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
  • any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
  • an appliance, fitting or fixture that is not working properly and causes a substantial amount of water to be wasted
  • a serious fault in a lift or staircase.

If you do have a need for a designated Urgent Repair, please contact your Property Manager on the number provided.

Landlords: Our normal process of obtaining quotes in the current circumstances will be very difficult, and decisions may need to be made without multiple quotes and with verbal quotes rather than written quotes. In some instances, unless we are already holding funds for your property we may need to seek your assistance with providing payment by credit card or EFT directly to the contractor. Availability of contractors may also be affected by these circumstances. We will be in contact with you should the need arise for Urgent Maintenance to be performed.

General Maintenance

Unfortunately, all routine/general maintenance will need to be postponed during the lockdown period.

Tenants: You will still be required to report all maintenance to your managing office, however it will not be attended to until the State of Disaster has been lifted.

Inspecting properties – new lease arrangements

If a tenant has signed lease agreement and is scheduled to move in during the period of lockdown this can still go ahead. A Property Manager will be able to hand over keys.

During the period of Stage 4 there will be no ability for tenants to inspect a rental property in person. However, if a tenant is satisfied by viewing photos or videos of a property that they are prepared to rent it, then a new tenancy can be entered into. The tenant will be obliged to acknowledge in writing that they have not personally inspected the property, however they are accepting the premises.

A Property Manager is able to attend an office for the purpose of finalising the leasing, and will arrange for contactless key collection.

Tenants Vacating – end of lease

A Property Manager is able to attend an office for the purpose of collecting paperwork and keys the conclusion of a tenancy.

Property managers will arrange for contactless final inspections to take place.

Routine Inspections

Whilst Stage 4 restrictions are in place throughout Victoria, in-person routine inspections will not be carried out.

Landlords: If the inspection of your property falls due, upon request your Property Manager may be able to facilitate for your tenants to complete an inspection report, which we will provide to you.

Thank you for your continued support and for your understanding about this extraordinary situation.