Businesses and Landlords Worried
With the onset of the Corona Virus, many landlords, and tenants for that matter have been very worried about current developments, or more accurately, the lack of direction from some governing bodies.
Many businesses have been devastated, particularly tourism and aviation, not to mention all the hanger-on businesses next tot hem.
Reduced Working Hours or Unemployment
With that, many people are working less, on less pay or no pay and are understandably stressed about their arrangements with their landlords.
Landlords are Worried Too
I understand landlords are worried too and there have been some horrific issues in the media with the sway some real estate agents have been handling, or rather, if I may say, mishandling the issue.
There is an important need for clarity and compassion and a willingness to work on both sides of the spectrum.
While the states in Australia are still working out the details, painfully slowly mind you, I realize there are still things you can proactively do at this stage:
For a start, it is important to ensure that your tenants are aware of the Government’s Jobkeeper allowance which is currently sitting at $1500 AUD for those people who have lost their employment. This payment is made fortnightly and will be backdated to March 1, 2020.
If an individual is unable to qualify for the Jobkeeper payment, they may be entitled to the Jobseeker payment instead, through contact with Centrelink.
Even as a company, you may be entitled to job keeper allowances as well. More information is available on the Government website for Australia.
The state and federal governments are still working out the details themselves, but for now, an open and honest negotiation between tenant and landlord is the best option. I am aware that some tenants and landlords are great and others are well- not. This will require a bit more effort and making notes of all conversations in case there is a need for mediation later. However, this could take some time at this stage with many services backed up.
Remember, some landlords can defer their mortgage payments and tenants can pay a reduced rent. Please note that it will still probably be payable at a future date but this can be worked out as well.
3. Protect Your Self and Assets
Many people who are investors are finding that property values may decline for a period.
Of course, if you do not need to sell, this is immaterial as it is only on paper. This time will pass.
However, it is important to protect your self where you can. Many people who had air B and B rentals are now finding they will be better t0 get a full-time tenant at a reduced rate to just lease the property rather than have it empty.